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Nora is around 40, has a husband and children – and just disappears one day. A powerful character study that purposefully forgoes answering what freedom is and what it allows.


Her children are sleeping next door, her husband is sitting by the TV, and Nora is holding the handle of her front door. The look on the 40 year old‘s face is unsure and simultaneously determined, she knows: “I have to go.“ Nora has decided to leave her family and the life she has known behind and does so. That is the entry point with which director Jan Speckenbach questions are definition of freedom.

In your mid-twenties the word “freedom“ seems light. Nora the protagonist is searching for it in FREIHEIT even though she has many commitments. Her attempt at finding herself isn‘t a teen phase, it‘s a mission that raises moral questions and has far-reaching consequences.

At first the confused Nora travels across Europe and goes by a fake name: Petra, then Christina, then Susanna. While her family at home has to deal with their mother leaving, Nora leads a life on the run which is exciting at first. She meets new people. She has a quickie with someone she meets at a supermarket. She gets a new haircut. She finds a job in Slovakia. Even though it‘s so fast and drastic, what Nora does is believable. A large part of that is due to actress Johanna Wokalek, who turns her role into a precise character study. The meaning of “freedom“ can be found in Wokalek‘s nuanced facial expressions. She‘s filled with a zest for life at one point and is extremely sad staring at her dark hotel room ceiling at another. The film doesn‘t answer what “freedom“ means. Perhaps that‘s because there is no answer for it.

Christine Stöckel

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Freiheit
Deutschland/Slowakei 2017, 100 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Jan Speckenbach
Author: Jan Speckenbach, Andreas Deinert
DOP: Tilo Hauke
Montage: Jan Speckenbach
Distributor: Film Kino Text
Cast: Johanna Wokalek, Inga Birkenfeld, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Andrea Szabová
FSK: 12
Release: 08.02.2018




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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