Within the framework of the "Weeks of the German language"
Documentary // 110 minutes // 2020 // Director: Janna Ji Wonders
Director Janna Ji Wonders tells the story of the women in her family over the last century. The film’s unifying element and silent chronicler is Lake Walchensee in Bavaria, where the family opened a café in 1920 which still exists today. Its impressive founder Apa bequeaths the business to her first-born Norma who continues to run it, even in her advancing years. Norma’s daughters Anna and Frauke leave the lake to liberate themselves and travel the world as musicians – only to return to live in a commune set up by Rainer Langhans. Frauke pines for the love of her life, dies mysteriously and becomes a shadowy figure for those left behind. Restless Anna moves to the USA, where she unexpectedly falls pregnant and gives birth to a girl. Summoned by the shadows of her past, she returns with daughter Janna to Walchensee where Grandma Norma becomes an important figure for her granddaughter.
The concept for Walchensee Forever received the Made in Germany – Perspektive Fellowship in 2016 and the completed film won the Bavarian Film Award for Best Documentary in January 2020.
Janna Ji Wonders
Born in Mill Valley, California, she grew up near Lake Walchensee in Bavaria. She studied at the University of Film and Television in Munich and shot numerous music videos. Her documentaries Bling Bling, about the gangster rap scene in LA, and Street Punk Moscow, about young punks in the suburbs of Moscow, won several awards. Her feature film I Remember was selected for the 2015 Perspektive Deutsches Kino.