“...foregrounds the theme of people...who have fallen out of history and wander, ghost-like, wanting nothing more than to rejoin the ranks of the normal - a theme that Petzold consistently rewrites”
Fifteen-year old Jeanne (Julia Hummer) is intrigued by Heinrich (Bilge Bingul), a self-proclaimed 'McJobber with surfer dreams who loves Brian Wilson' that she meets on a beach in Portugal. Her nervy reticence seems a natural expression of teen-age awkwardness, but Jeanne's over-protective parents, Hans (Richy Muller) and Clara (Barbara Auer, Transit) betray similar signs of anxiety. Hans and Clara are revealed to be former Red Army Faction operatives and Jeanne's young life has been heavily circumscribed by their exiled, outlaw status. Forced to travel to Hamburg in an attempt to finance a long-planned escape to Sao Paulo, Petzold's deeply absorbing film astutely explores generational and historical divides at both an intimate familial as well as a wider social level.
"Petzold's engagement not only with terrorism, but with its afterlife for post-Wall Germany, seemed timely indeed. He also based the film on two intriguing genre models...Kathryn Bigelow's debut feature After Dark (1987), a vampire-western hybrid, as well as Sidney Lumet's Running on Empty (1998), which also depicts a terrorist family and the challenges of sustaining political radicalism over the generations" Senses of Cinema