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Die Hannas

Anna and Hans have been together for so long that their friends simply call the couple “The Hannas“. When both of them start affairs, their desire to experiment soon leads to more serious questions about life and relationships.

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Anna (Anna König) and Hans (Till Butterbach) are one of those symbiotic couples who only show up together, finish each other’s sentences, and have been together so long that you can’t imagine them being alone anymore. That’s why their friends have combined their names and call them “the Hannas”. The Hannas are in their mid 30s and everything is going fine in their relationship, career, life, but is that all there is? They are “happy with the compromise”, their friend Lisa (Anna Ratte-Polle) says and that sounds both admirable and derogatory.

That sentence is said at the very beginning of Julia C. Kaiser’s film, when it seems like it will be a typical German relationship comedy. DIE HANNAS had a very successful festival run (it won 4 prizes in Achtung Berlin alone) and is now coming in theatres. It is set in Berlin, but not in the hip areas and the Hannas aren’t hipsters that are involved in media, but rather more grounded. That’s why it’s all the more radical when Anna and Hans meet a woman and start having an affair with her individually. Parallel cheating, so to speak, seeing what it’s like having something other than the relationship, an alternative to the life that was perhaps a bit too comfortable before. The affairs become increasingly serious and the question of how it can continue becomes more persistent as well. THE HANNAS isn’t a light comedy anymore, but rather a relationship drama that doesn’t go the easy route and doesn’t let the characters off the hook. It asks the difficult question of how one should live with satisfying realism and seriousness.

Michael Meyns

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Deutschland 2016, 102 min
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Director: Julia C. Kaiser
Author: Julia C. Kaiser
DOP: Dominik Berg
Montage: Linda Bosch
Music: Dominik Berg, Sorry Gilberto, Coleslaw Clubbing
Distributor: W-Film
Cast: Till Butterbach, Anna König, Julia Becker, Ines Marie Westernströer, Christian Natter
FSK: 12
Release: 10.08.2017

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