International Competition – Cutting Edge

Das melancholische Mädchen

Aren’t You Happy?

Susanna Heinrich

Germany 2019. 80 Min.
color. DCP. D/e

The metropolitan girl of today has no easy task; she is expected to be hip and emancipated, cool and well-informed, tough, delicate, have many interests, be present everywhere but not too intrusive – all of this and much more. Taking all this into account, it’s no surprise that a girl can become melancholy. In her essayistic feature film, which was produced at the dffb film school, Heinrich – who was born in Leipzig in 1985 and has worked as a writer – confronts the neoliberal-postmodern role overkill of both consumerism and wokeness with the passive resistance of her protagonist. Aren’t You Happy? has 16 episodes, which obey anti-naturalistic principles in everything from diction to costumes, and they function as a projection surface: precisely because all the posing and deception seem to bounce off, we end up seeing an authentic figure who suffers from permanent overload. A tour d’ennui for Marie Rathscheck in the lead role, who in her character as a woman without a character is not allowed to reveal much, and compensates for it with an ending so raging that even the beach photo wallpaper dissolves into pixels – accompanied by appropriately pompous big band music. A breath of fresh air, which was awarded the main prize at this year’s Max Ophüls Festival. (as)


DirectorSusanna Heinrich
ScreenplaySusanne Heinrich
CinematographyAgnesh Pakozdi
EditingSusanne Heinrich, Benjamin Mirguet
MusicMoritz Sembritzki, Mathias Bloech
WithMarie Rathscheck, Nicolo Pasetti, Monika Wiedemer, Yann Grouhel
ProducersJana Kreissl, Till Gerstengeber, Philippe Bober