[PERSON] Good morning.
How long for your passenger?
How much time for your passenger?
[PERSON] She's right there.
[2ND PERSON] We just texted her, she's coming right out soon.
OK, so can you move all the way up, please?
[PERSON] Sure, thanks.
[ANNOUNCEMENT ON AIRPORT SPEAKER]
[PERSON SPEAKING IN GERMAN]
And that's what I want.
Then have it.
I missed you.
I missed you, too.
I want to fuck you.
Like a woman?
[KNOCKING ON DOOR, DOOR OPENING]
Morning, dearies! Would you like some coffee?
[PERSON] Ah, yes!
This film tells of four young people attempting to organize their love.
Their problem is that their love is already organized.
Their love is organized in exclusivity - self-defense and coupledom.
When did you learn how to make coffee?
A very special person taught me.
Would you like some milk?
Sure. One sec.
I'm surprised you even have milk.
I know. It's my roommate's, but ...
I don't think they'll mind.
That makes sense.
The last time I checked you were lactose-intolerant.
Yeah, this is almond milk, but ...
It's the healthy kind.
The expensive kind. The expensive kind.
I can't keep up this lifestyle. My budget ...
Speaking of ...
[PERSON] I've been just hanging out.
Looking for a new job, slowly.
[PERSON] Where have you been looking?
I've been posting about it.
[NARRATOR] We could call the person that Paul kisses "Erika."
Perhaps we could call them "Bruno" or "Fritz."
Since "Fritz" is very hard to differentiate from "Franz," we'll call them "Bruno."
The name really doesn't fit them at all.
Like we said, "Erika" fits better.
This is Erika.
This is my mom.
I've been waiting to me you. Nice to meet you.
You're a very pretty girl.
Thank you! Stop!
Stop trying to take my girls. I promise I won't, not this time.
How many have you taken? She's not lying.
Let's not talk about that right now.
Need to get to know you a little better first!
[NARRATOR] Gera is forty-five and the mother of Paul, a fact both of them are trying to ignore.
She is interested in everything.
[PAUL] I mean, you could still have used it before but now, yeah, the servers are down.
[GERA] I remember when
"a/s/l" was a thing.
[ERIKA] Yeah, now people just ask for your sign.
It's the same thing.
[ERIKA] What's your name? What's your sign?
[PAUL] Where were you born? Good morning!
Oh my god. there's so many of you!
This is my friend.
Sorry, I landed last night. I'm like, really tired.
Hi, nice to meet you.
Oh my god, are you his mom? [GERA] I am.
Oh my god, I heard about you!
Hi, nice to meet you!
[PAUL] You can see the resemblance, can't you?
Gera just got back from travelling, too.
Wait, really? Where are you coming from?
[GERA] Saint Kitts.
[ALL SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY]
Oh, you were doing activist work. [PAUL] Would you want to go out later?
[GERA] In the Carribean.
What brings you to our part... I'm just here for a project.
I'm trying not to work too much.
[PERSON] How was your night?
Pretty good! I mean, I'm happy about it.
I'll tell you more when I'm actually awake.
[PAUL] Whenever I'm off ... [GERA] You look very tired!
I want to do it right.
[GERA] Get some sleep first! I'm just going to drink this.
[PAUL] We could see a movie while ...
[PERSON] Did I just get bedbugs? No, no, no, no.
We're hoping to replace it.
[PAUL] I'll send you some showtimes.
We're thinking about going to dance later.
Hi, how are you?
It's really nice to meet you, what was your name?
It's really nice to meet you.
[ALL TALKING AND LAUGHING]
You look pretty tired, babe.
You've been on a plane for how long?
Like fifteen hours or something. Oh my god!
It's good, I'm in New York, I'm back.
You gonna be here for a while?
[PAUL] Not that it's a problem!
Are you OK?
[GERA] I used to live really close by.
I'm going to get you water, hold on.
Do you want a seat?
No, I'm really great up here. [PAUL] Stay as long as you want.
Yeah, just perching and survying the landscape.
There's a of socialization happening over there.
[PAUL] We're thinking about going out later if you want to join.
Mom, you can join too.
[GERA] I think I'll stay home.
I only slept for three hours.
[PERSON] Only slept for three hours. there you go.
Were you dancing? [GERA] Um, yup.
[PAUL] And I'm trying to dance again tonight.
Oh yeah? [PAUL] Yeah, you want to go?
Yeah, of course.
[PAUL] Let's do it. I have to work, though.
OK. [PAUL] I'll meet you after.
Erika's ... Are you all going?
[PAUL] Mm, I think so.
Wait, am I going? Gera, are you much of a dancer?
I feel like we never talked about this... yeah, you should come!
If you want. I do want to.
If you're not too jet-lagged. That would be awesome.
I'd love that. [PAUL] Gera's a way better dancer that I am.
[GERA] Yeah but I'll let you guys have your fun.
I mean, you with your flailing arms!
[GERA] You should come!
[SOFT ROCK MUSIC PLAYING QUIETLY]
Ooh, you want it like that.
[FRANZ] I want it to look pretty.
[TONIA] One second.
Sorry, don't just leave my pants out please.
[FRANZ] I wasn't sure where to put them.
Well, I put them away.
[FRANZ] Well, if that's what you going to do, huh!
You're going to mess up my bed!
Just come into my apartment and mess up my bed!
[TRAIN HORN HONKING]
Can I please get a ticket to the four o'clock?
Yes you can.
[CAR HORN HONKS] That'll be $15.
Hi, love. Hey, sweetie.
So, I think I'm on the list ...
This kiss is your ticket. OK.
Franz leaves with the yarn, Erika stays.
Franz isn't afraid.
Franz leaves the department store, security doesn't persue him, and he walks through the shimmering streets.
[UPBEAT ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYS]
[ERIKA] Erika becomes very calm when she sleeps with Paul.
Very gentle, too, and quiet.
One time it was so pretty for the both of them that Paul had to really laugh in the middle, they were sleeping with one another, and Paul laughed wildy and came.
It was so pretty, that he no longer needed to touch her.
Afterwards, they kissed for quite some time.
Yeah, so we might be able to get speakers on a truck, that would be awesome, but I think also if we just kind of all make a lot of noise. I have these handheld noisemakers and we can all kind of, you know, join in.
And then also we have these to hand out to people, if they want to join in on the noise protest.
Thank you. Everyone got one?
Let's put this theory to work!
This is what happens when you let white people drag you into their antifa bullshit.
[PAUL] Paul is sitting next to Erika, and Erika is painting.
Both are at a meeting for the organizers of the local committees.
The organizers listen to the report of the district committee representative and Paul thought:
"Why can't we elect someone with stylish glasses?"
"I would like to kiss him."
But this is a film after all, And people don't think in those.
The people around them are happy that Paul and Erika are a couple.
Paul and Erika are also happy that they are a couple, especially Erika. but Erika is also more nervous.
[PAUL] One of the party members emphasized that the youth must join the movement.
And now we must find out where they are.
We must all be communists.
Everywhere the youth are, we should be.
In the bars, in the workplaces and offices, in the concerts and cinemas.
We must make sure the movement is everywhere.
The situation is quite stressful.
Paul and Erika look very different from the rest, And they feel it.
I've yet to be booked for something that was worth doing.
Everything... I've gotten arrested before but not for anything, uh... virtuous.
[TONIA] It's so weird. I used to consider myself totally arrestable or whatever, and now I'm realizing that I'm not.
It's kind of a weird shift.
I was like, "Fine, arrest me,"
I can go be, like, the ... impressive hero one, no matter how scared I am, and now I'm like, "Oh God."
"This could be really dark." Yeah.
No, that's a real shift.
See, as much as I think that you should be put in a women's jail facility, I really don't want to go to the men's jail facility.
Do you know when Erika's going to show up?
[TONIA] I don't think she's coming.
[HELMUT] Oh, yeah?
[PAUL] Yeah, she didn't reply to me.
[TONIA] She was pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.
She doesn't really...
[PERSON] Can I take some pictures of you?
[PERSON] I'm a student.
Just for security?
We just prefer not to have photos, thank you.
[PERSON] Just for the signs?
Sure, yeah, OK.
Is that OK with everyone else? Yeah, that's fine.
[PERSON] Yeah, go in front of the faces.
[PAUL] We're actually plants!
We're actually the new police force.
[PERSON] Thank you so much!
Of course, have a good day.
[ELECTRONIC MUSIC STARTS]
My hometown's surrounded by this little mountain range, so it's kind of in a valley.
And we'd drive up the backroads, behind the ski range on the mountain, when I was younger.
Like me and my friends.
And ... up at the top there's this clearing with a little tower in the middle that's missing a bunch of the first few rows of steps and we'd shimmy our way up the rusted metal and once you get to the top you can look down over the whole valley and the mountains.
And we'd go up and watch the sun set over the whole town.
[PAUL] Oh fuck, is that me? Damn.
Come on, mom, I can take it.
[GERA] I got you that last one.
One, two, three, go!
Oh, it's you?
I keep missing.
Gonna make you cry.
One, two, three, go!
One, two, three, go!
[FRANZ] There we go!
You know, you have to say "sir."
[FRANZ] Thank you sir!
[HELMUT] I don't know if you can tell but I don't do this that often.
Ah, you're a natural!
[TONIA] Fuck, you do do this that often!
Oh my god, leave my boy alone!
Leave my boy alone!
[PAUL] Just get in there.
Are you OK? [FRANZ] That felt good.
OK, fine, I want it.
[TONIA] Oh, fuck! No, get my ass!
[FRANZ] Oh, that looked like ...
[TONIA] That's almost there, one more!
Yeah, I want more.
Thank you sir! This is definitely your thing.
Don't do it again!
That's good. I want to ...
I want to... get over here.
Oh, nice. Switching it up.
Yeah, but I think you have some things to actually slap me for.
[TONIA] Do I?
I don't know about those.
[FRANZ] That's right. [TONIA] Do you want to tell me?
[FRANZ] Thank you sir!
[TONIA] It's "ma'am," you fuck! [FRANZ] I mean, "Ma'am!"
[FRANZ] Helmut has laugh lines.
When he laughs, he tilts his head just a little bit, holds himself so he stops laughing, and gets a little red.
Tonia has to laugh along too, when Helmut laughs.
Franz even moreso.
Helmut once married one of those bow-legged types, a former family-man.
Helmut, when he sees Franz and Tonia so always smiles a little saucily.
Helmut knows what's what.
Helmut knows princes and salesmen and seducers, and satin shirts and eyeliners and little monsters.
Helmut is one of them.
[TONIA] I had always translated it, the word "zweisamkeit", in the sort of epigraph that everyone loves from the book, as "coupledom."
[TONIA] And then this morning, Raoul was like, "No, you really need to be translating it as
[CHILD YELLING ON STREET] And basically, he was like, "Well, I really think that these things are meant in a postive sense."
And I was like, "No, this sentence is really obviously meant to be negative."
But I guess, then, there's another question.
What do you think?
[FRANZ] We have to think about what it means in the context of the book specifically.
And it seems to me that it's super-important that it has this idea of "two" in it.
Because the word is like...
It's a... formed in response to or in relation to
[TRAIN PASSING] the idea of "einsamkeit", meaning, uh, I want sandwiches!
You look really confused.
I want sandwiches, I want sandwiches.
[TONIA] I'm waiting out here.
[PAUL] Do you want anything? [TONIA] No.
And I'm kind of like, OK, maybe he doesn't mean "coupledom"
[LATIN MUSIC PLAYS IN DISTANCE] like the "couple form" or whatever, but he's definintely talking about a paired relationship. It's a romantic partnership.
He's not talking about the love shared between a group.
If he was talking about that, then he would have used a different word that doesn't have this "two" in it, right?
I mean, that's what I would would think.
Because you would think like... if Schernikau really wanted to write about togetherness he could have used a more general term like
The point is, Schernikau chose this really interesting and ambiguous word which we don't really have in English, and so you just have to choose what you think makes sense in relation to the book whether you want to emphasize the idea of "coupledom" or "togetherness."
I mean, the only vehemence I have is "I don't care."
But you've got to make a choice. Sometimes it's enough, right?
I'm like, ultimately I have to pick one word and this one works for what I want to say, so...
It's my translation, I can do what I want!
[ALL LAUGHING AND SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY]
Franz embraces Paul, pulls him close, dances.
Turns, sings, the place is much too small, stretches his arms to the camera, Paul takes part, the crowd parts.
[MUFFLED ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING]
[KNOCKING ON DOOR]
[KNOCKING, DOOR OPENS]
This is a flashback.
Franz opens the door, and Tonia is there.
Franz smiles widely.
He wants to kiss Tonia.
This is a flash-forward.
Franz says, I'm glad you came by again.
Cut it, that's enough.
[PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS PLAYING IN THE DISTANCE]
[SPEAKING LOUDLY AND CLAPPING]
[TONIA] They stop.
More are arriving, they shout, "Get out!"
Erika turns around first and says, "Please, no."
They turn around and behind them there are tons of vehicles.
"The cops," says Helmut. "They might have evicted a squat."
Paul looks for entryways and backyards but doesn't see any.
"Shit," says Franz.
He is tired and has the wrong shoes on.
Franz is terrified of physical pain, they all are.
But now Erika, Helmut, Franz, and Paul turn back.
They begin to run.
Franz leaves his shoes behind, he steps on a burning cigarette, he keeps running.
In they direction they're running, the officers are beating the arriving protesters.
A loudspeaker says, "If you don't resist, no harm will come to you.
This statement is clearly not intended for the protesters.
The protesters have no choice.
This statement is intended for the slowly awakening inhabitants of the houses along the street, who are hopefully beginning to ask themselves why this is happening.
Erika simply stops.
Helmut is the fastest of them, perhaps he could just run through the police line.
Erika sees that, and runs as well.
Paul runs too, he runs and runs.
He runs by a woman lying on the ground, being handled with unnessary cruelty.
He falls backwards, sees Franz.
Franz tries to stop an officer from beating three people in a cellar doorway.
Paul shouts something quite loud, runs, pulls Franz back, takes him by the arm, and pulls him along, and runs.
That's why Erika is standing still.
Erika sees Paul grab Franz and run.
Paul hasn't seen Erika.
Paul will succeed in getting away with Franz.
Two officers lunge at Erika, she lets herself fall to the ground, so as not to take so much of a beating.
[INDISTINCT TALKING ON POLICEMAN'S RADIO]
Now I'm missing something.
I'm going to stick you!
[PAUL] Shove it in.
[GERA] I don't have any tape.
You have to rest it still. [PAUL] Yeah.
I brought you some water.
Has Erika called?
[MUFFLED UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS]
Want some toast? Yes, please.
The craziest thing just happened when I was at the grocery store.
I was in the checkout line, waiting to pay, and this guy came in,
with a stocking over his face and a gun in the air, and told everyone to get on the ground.
Yeah, I mean ...
The grocery store got robbed. Are you serious?
Yeah, it was so bizarre.
But somehow I was really calm the whole time.
And he was really calm too. It was sort of like ... it was almost like it was happening in a dream or something and ...
I don't know, I could just tell somehow because of his compsure, that, even though I couldn't see his face, he must be a really beautiful person.
I mean he had, also his clothes were really elegant somehow.
Everything fit really nicely and he was wearing these wool ... these wool trousers that were really beautifully cut.
Yeah, there I was, lying on the ground, just watching this guy walk up and down the aisles and taking cash and thinking, "God, what a beautiful robber!"
That's so you. Yeah.
But, I mean, it happened really quickly and then the cops came and,
in the confusion I made away with the bread also.
But, uh ...
But, yeah. I don't know.
Yeah, yeah, I'm fine.
Yeah, it's like almost like it didn't happen to me.
I love you.
You can't love me, I'm a corpse.
Each embraces the other completely, one with their legs around the other, one with their lips upon the other, one just as pretty as the other could be.
We thought we should always think of each other.
And we had to.
But then we didn't have to.
If we were with each other, we were with others too.
Or we were always with each other.
It works, because it works with the others.
I woke up this morning, and I wasn't in his house.
And I got up and went to the mirror and I looked at my naked body.
And I saw my shoulders and my breasts and my hair,
and my legs and my calves and my feet.
I was so unclear on what I was seeing and what was looking back at me.
I don't think it's that he doesn't love me or whatever anymore, he's just made a situation that feels kind of unsustainable and is really weird with me only being here for a bit and he's leaving soon.
So I'm not really mad at him but I do feel like I feel like I'm kind of adrift.
I had him for so long, for years now, and
he'd become a rock that I oriented myself around, that I had an understanding of who I was because I had this relationship with him.
And as my body changed I could just at least compare that body to him and have him touch me and feel me and it just kind of gave me a sense that I existed
and that I was a woman or that someone would keep seeing me through different bodies and that there was some sort of continuity to myself and now that I feel that's probably gone, I feel really ...
I feel really lost.
And I'm kind of ...
I don't ...
I feel like I'm losing track of my body and I'm losing track of the way people see me and I'm just ...
I feel really scared in a way I didn't feel before.
I hope it works out. [HELMUT] I think it will.
You're welcome, any time.
[ELECTRONIC ORCHESTRAL MUSIC STARTS]
[MUSIC FADES, PIANO STARTS]
[TONIA] We see the following frozen images of her: she has an arm in the air, she points something out with her fingers. she covers her eyes, she turns something down, she holds her own hands, she lifts her shoulder and her fingers touch her forehead, she bites her left hand, she grabs her hair, she laughs.
These images, no sound.
[TRAIN HORN HONKS]
[METAL OBJECTS CLATTERING]
[INDISTINCT MUFFLED SPEAKING]