short film, 2015 - 23 min [view trailer]


Script, Director: Christine Lang // Cinematographer: Dirk Lütter ('Work Hard - Play Hard', 'Die Ausbildung') // Editing: Jihyeon Park // Music: They Just Strut, Robot Koch, Brero, El Diablo, The Bassist // Production: Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and Christine Lang

Text: Bert Rebhandl

“What’s wrong with you?” We often ask this question en passant in everyday life to decipher a mysterious subjectivity, which becomes a key for the relation between three girls in AS IF WE WERE SOMEBODY ELSE. Nike, a fair, almost ethereal appearance, not just because of her short, blond hair, is friends with Jess, who voices her position of trust with a casual “Hey, babe” while the girls are redoing their make-up in the bathroom at a party. Nike, however, came with Lea with whom she had just been shopping for clothes. Lea also makes certain demands that are normal between adolescent friends. But nothing is completely normal at this age that, by definition, aims at subjectification, at the transition from “being someone else (a child) to “being somebody”, a transition that never happens linearly.

Putting it into the concise format of a film with just over 20 minutes, Christine Lang presents a coming-of-age drama about young people which is conceived as a state of tension between role models and self-expression, between moments of vulnerability and confident group selfie. Nike does not really conform to this fleeting image. Most of the time, she is quite absentminded as if she would observe herself in the distancing, stylized format of the film. Lang explores the world of Nike, Jess, Lea and their friends with gliding and precisely punctuated camera movements. The film repeatedly uses accentuating colors, which are perceivable both from a film-historical as well as commodity-aesthetic perspective and connect cultural history with pop culture codes. The music lays a veil over the story whose plot points are set incidentally because it is more about problematizing the reality than taking up concrete events.

Music, especially the electronic music in AS IF WE WERE SOMEBODY ELSE, does not primarily tell the story but accentuates it. This is basically true for the film as a whole, which uses gestures and insignia, rituals and ways of speaking to touch the mystery that young people are to themselves and to each other.