Every You Every Me (2024) Berlinale 2024

February 16th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Michael Fetter Nathansky | Cast: Aenne Schwarz, Carlo Ljubek, Youness Aabbaz, Sara Fazilat, Naila Schuberth | Germany / Spain 2024 | German, Subtitles: English | 108′ | Colour | World premiere

An industrial coal mining zone of Cologne provides a heavy-duty backcloth to this thematically ambitious, atmospheric slice of social realism from German filmmaker Michael Fetter Nathansky who follows the gradual implosion of a relationship through the eyes of a woman called Nadine (Schwarz).

Relationship breakdown is a heart-sinking subject but it also makes for quizzical viewing in Alle die Du Bist that sees Nadine’s partner in different guises. The opening scenes, set in some sort of institution, are confusing at first as Nadine’s partner is revealed as a bull, a small child (played by Schrein); and an adolescent (Aabbaz)?. It subsequently emerges that Paul embodies all these identities by turns, – at least in Nadine’s gaze – and we gradually learn to accommodate this unique idea. The single mother has left her home in Brandenburg at the age of 24 and met the mercurial Paul while working in an open-cast mining installation. A proud father, he is also undoubtedly a man of many faces whose male charisma has clearly set her heart on fire.

But life moves on and Nadine falls on harder times largely due to structural changes in the industry. Nathansky’s idea of casting several actors to embody one character is a brave and fanciful one, and certainly pays tribute to one woman’s efforts to make do and mend and reinvigorate her long-term emotional relationship. At the same time Nathansky’s follow up to his director debut You Tell Me (2019) requires a large leap of faith on the part of the audience. Committed performances all round.  @MeredithTaylor



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