Everything is good or bad

"Let me sleep," says the woman. "Let me kiss you," says the man.

After a party with too much beer and schnapps, Janne and Martin face each other drunk and sweaty in the kitchen in the early hours of the morning. The two only met that evening, at the cigarette machine. This was followed by a friendly drinking bout, common oldies bawling, "The Passenger" by Iggy Pop, "Singin 'la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la". Then she offered him to sleep on the couch with her.

But he doesn't want to believe that that should have been the end of the evening. It was clear what this was going to lead to. Or? He leans forward, tries a kiss. She pushes him away. "Do you notice that", he asks, "how do you let me hang here?"

He grabs her and puts her on the sideboard. She pushes him away, this time forcefully, and falls down in the process. He bends down to her and puts her hand on his crotch. She pulls her hand away, he pushes her to the floor and frantically fumbling down his pants. The wooden floorboards creak as he pokes and gasps.

These one and a half minutes of sexual intercourse are the beginning of Eva Trobisch's feature film debut "Alles ist gut". In it the director tells of the consequences of that night. Janne (Aenne Schwarz) is so surprised by what happened that she doesn't want to tell anyone about it; Not her boyfriend, with whom things are going rather badly than right now, and certainly not her overprotective mother.

She actually doesn't even want to know it herself, or at least she doesn't want to justify it with that one word that, in its abstractness, doesn't seem to fit into her everyday life: rape. Was that what happened rape? That would mean that she has become a victim, a role that she would never have associated with her self-image as a woman who can take good care of herself. Victims - they are always others, they can defend themselves after all. On the other hand: What happened that night wasn't just bad sex, was it a lousy, unsuccessful, drunk affair?

"Alles ist gut" won several awards even before it opened in theaters this Thursday. Among other things, Eva Trobisch, a graduate of the Munich Film School, received the directing award in the category "New German Cinema" at the Munich Film Festival; her leading actress Aenne Schwarz also won Best Actress. At the festival in Locarno, "Alles ist gut" was chosen as the best debut film.

What happened that night wasn't bad sex after all. But what was it then?

The work is exceptional in the heated debate about sexual assault, in which many people are quick to come up with opinions about who is to blame for what and who is therefore to behave and how. Because it is precisely this black and white thinking that the director refuses to do. Instead, she wants to explore the complicated gray area, in which the processing of such experiences probably takes place much more often than simply categorizing them and dividing them into guilty drawers. What happens when a young woman like Janne refuses to be a victim? Is there then no culprit, no problem, no consequences? Is it possible to undo a trauma simply by stoically negating it?

The cinema, which like hardly any other art can make mechanisms of repression visible, the contradiction between knowledge and action, between language and feeling, is of course an ideal means of investigating such questions. And the 35-year-old director does it, especially for a movie debutante, with an impressive skill for staging subtleties and dramaturgy.

Janne meets her rapist Martin (Hans Löw) again when she starts a new job as an editor. He knows her boss and, as a consultant, is supposed to oversee the merging of two departments. Through this confrontation, however, the need arises even more for her to deny this one night, because how should her life continue to function properly, the job, the relationship, if what seems to have happened is really true. Therefore: just to be on the safe side, continue as if nothing had happened. When the two of them run into each other in the sterile office clutter of the copy room and he sheepishly asks if he could do anything for them, she just laughs out loud. "Can you bring me a bar of chocolate?"

How the protagonist maneuvers herself further and further into an emotional impasse, which then leads to collapse in an absurd everyday situation, the film does not show as a melodrama, but with all the hard illogical logic with which people can lie to themselves when they are exposed to extreme situations . A film that should be shown to all those screamers who like to accuse victims of not immediately speaking up when something has happened to them, but are often only able to do so much later. I wonder why?

All is well, D 2018 - Director, Book: Eva Trobisch. Camera: Julian Krubasik. Editor: Kai Minierski. With: Aenne Schwarz, Andreas Döhler, Hans Löw, Tilo Nest. NFP, 94 minutes. (From Thursday.)