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Directed by Angela Schanelec
Germany, 2007
Angela Schanelec: Showing without Telling


A family spends three summer days in a beautiful lake mansion close to Berlin. Together with her new lover, Irene visits her brother Alex, who still inhabits the house with his writer son Konstantin. Konstantin’s girl-friend pops in, too, and all of them drift away from each other more and more.

Our take

Angela Schanelec’s film generously lets us piece together relationships, family drama and love’s hurt through oblique observation and heart-felt restraint. A sun-drenched snapshot of a subtly distraught summer holiday, shared between lakeside neighbours.

Afternoon Directed by Angela Schanelec

What are people saying?

  • Korial's rating of the film Afternoon

    At the same time, Shanelec manages to make you feel familiar and estranged from her characters. Even though you empathise with them, most of the time you cannot grasp their thoughts and past experiences - their inner world. One of the most mature attempt to order meaningfully ones' experience and vision of existence, a movement blurring the line between art and life.

  • eberhard's rating of the film Afternoon

    Raum geben zu reden. Oder zu schweigen. Raum dem, was geschieht. Oder nicht geschieht. Raum geben.

  • Loz Loory's rating of the film Afternoon

    Found this much more interesting character-wise and plot-wise than "Marseilles" and "Passing Summer." A very bleak and bitter exploration of "The Seagull." Great encapsulation of what "happy, relaxing family holidays" inevitably become: brutal dissection of each person's failures and mean-spirited exposures of long-suppressed feelings.

  • Jason's rating of the film Afternoon

    AFTERNOON essentially takes Chekhov's THE SEAGULL and subjects it to a vivisection of interactions so coolly observed, so particular, that we may well forget (to our credit) that there was ever such a thing as the theatre. Schanelec here finds herself modelling a kind of cinema resembling that of her contemporary Joanna Hogg. Schanelec is even more austere and precise. Something of the laboratory about it.

  • Stefan Drees's rating of the film Afternoon

    Das Problem sind die Dialoge, die zwar in Anlehnung an Tschechows "Möwe" bewusst artifiziell gehalten sind, vor dem Hintergrund des gezeigten Lebensumfelds jedoch immer wieder ins unfreiwillig Parodistische umschlagen. Allerdings überzeugt die Arbeit mit Kameraeinstellungen, weil Schanelec beispielsweise ihre Bilder oft statisch anlegt und die Personen nur als Ausschnitt und ohne ihr Gegenüber zeigt.

  • Folquet's rating of the film Afternoon

    Friday evening, at home. My second foray into the Berlin School. There's a whiff of something contrite in the existential undertones of the plot, I tell myself. But then, the human microcosm is so rigorously observed, and the paralysis so oblique, that any wistful melancholia becomes impossible (or futile). The visual rhythm of is superb too, alternating tight and loose framing without missing one beat.

  • Kevin Matthews's rating of the film Afternoon

    Angela Schanelec often misses the mark for me, due to the way in which her movies tend to throw you in with characters that never seem fully grown beyond their individual scenes. Afternoon is another one that doesn't work, for that very reason. It's hard to be interested in people who seem so uninterested in themselves or those around them.

  • Robert John Torres's rating of the film Afternoon

    A prismatic, gossamer approach to Chekhov. The details and history of relationships are felt, but not explained. Characters engage in long, wordy exchanges that have echoes of the theater, but the film's undeniable mastery of story ellipsis, image composition, and sound design root this firmly in the realm of cinema. Drifts along at its own pace, requiring the viewer to submit to its laconic, sphinx-like presence.

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