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As We Were Dreaming (2015)

© Rommel Film / Pandora Film / Foto: Peter Hartwig
© Rommel Film / Pandora Film / Foto: Peter Hartwig
Directed by Andreas Dresen

As We Were Dreaming is based on the Clemens Meyer novel of the same name. It follows four friends in two time periods. They’re thirteen and in school, years before the fall of the Berlin wall. And they’re also young men hustling on the streets of 1990s Leipzig, trying to make something out of themselves following German reunification. They’re soon running a popular underground techno club, but this introduces them to a world of criminality and failure that becomes a running theme in their lives.

The film is energetic for a little while, but it loses steam as the narrative goes off into various directions. It’s pretty clear that this is a narrative that works better as a novel, its various threads much more difficult to structure in the rigidity of the filmic form. It just plays out as a series of seemingly clichéd maladies, these kids falling into all the bad stuff that kids do. The best moments convey true anarchic energy, putting us into the heads of these kids with more dreams than means, and a genuine need to be something more than the environment they grew up in.

by Philbert Dy