Valentine, played by Zack Segel, travels to Germany to learn more about his past and his future. He stays in his grandfather’s summer house. He finds Adam living in the attic. Adam is a refugee from Africa. You could say that Val and Adam are Huck Finn and Jim floating down the river of life while looking for answers. But, there are no answers in this wonderful, sometimes hilarious and sometimes painful film that combines elements of a buddy film with the Three Stooges.
Zorro, played by Juan Carlos Lo Sasso, is basically looking for a friend and a good time. He has no qualms about stripping down the bare essentials at the laundromat . . . or rather he bared the essentials.
The bad guy, Gregor, played by Christian Harting, has evil ideas . . . you expect him to “sieg heil” and condemn anyone who is not of the master race, but mostly people just don’t want to listen to him. He complains about the faults of others in following rules, but he doesn’t follow the rules, either. I think this is part of our own weaknesses. We complain about others when we make fail to live up to the same standards. Harting does a excellent job making us hate him and at the same time pitying him.
Before COVID, “Datsche” would have been an ideal film for the Grande Cinema in downtown Tacoma. Like “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Pieces of April,” and “True Grit,” “Datsche” is movie that would make for a wonderful afternoon of discussion . . . and the best popcorn in Pierce County. We wonder, do the friends cross moral lines, stretch the lines, or simply redraw the lines?
What starts out with one central character, turns into five friends who are all moving further up or down river. Sometimes there’s hilarity and sometimes there’s mystery and possible pain.
Watch the trailer – imdb.com/video/vi1528676121
When will this be made into a TV show!!!!
sallycoffeecup4 February 2019
“I watched this lovely gem at the Snowdance film festival in Germany. The story is full of heart and I just want to see what happens next. I think you can only see it in film fest for now so keep an eye out for it.”
StudleyDave6 January 2021
It feels like you’re on Summer holiday at your Aunt or Uncle’s, and you’ve gotten the dates wrong! Lol. Meeting the neighbours and exploring the space for yourself sets the tone . . . Zack carries the lead role perfectly, giving a pretty instant warmth and likeability to his character. The journey through his Summer is filled with characters of colour, warmth, and some unexpected depth . . . The drama within this dry comedy is compelling, as it mirrors reality really well, with the setting carrying this feeling even further. I laughed a lot, as well as sitting back and thinking on some of the dynamics and dialogue that are played out . . . What a great movie!
“Datsche” was written and directed by Lara Hewitt:
“Born in 1982, Lara went to school in Bolton and Blackburn and aged 17 became involved with creating pantomimes in rural Lancashire for people with special needs and their carers. Lara went on to study French & German at Cambridge University, followed by a Masters in Theatre Making and later a PGCE in Primary Education. Throughout her twenties Lara worked as both artist and educator . . . before settling in Berlin, where she lived in 2012-2017. While in Berlin Lara wrote and directed a punk-inspired adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ for young people, . . . and finally quit her day job to write and direct her first feature film, ‘Datsche,’ which she shot on her allotment garden in Potsdam. . . . In late 2017 Lara returned to her home town in Lancashire to take on the local hundred-year-old cinema, ‘The Palace’, that had come up for sale. Lara is now back where she started, still making and now showing films, and last Christmas once again wrote and directed a pantomime for her home community.”
If you’ve never seen a British pantomime, you don’t know what you’re missing. For years CenterStage in Federal Way and Artistic Managing Director Alan Bryce produced a “panto” at Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas time. Alan retired a few years ago, but in non-COVID time we should see the pantomime return for local audiences. The audience is expected to participate with singing, and shouting out phrases as taught by one of the performers. Booing and hissing of evil-doers is encouraged as are cheers for the good guys. The pantomime was developed partly from commedia dell’arte. There are outrageous characters, bad jokes and puns. We don’t need bad jokes, puns, and audience participation in “Datsche”, but Lara has given us a nice mixture of outrageous and seemingly normal characters in “Datsche”. A conflictual relationship between natural and cultured lifestyle is the major theme of Huckleberry Finn. In “Datsche” we see the conflict in style and personalities, but we also see the conflicts fall away.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.