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Germany, German, 99 mins

  • Director: Piotr J. Lewandowski
  • Writer: Piotr J. Lewandowski
  • Producer: Barbara Buhl; Meike Kordes

CGiii Comment

Jonathan...is not gay!

Jonathan is a deeply-felt, beautifully-photographed study of when a young man/boy becomes the man he will be for the rest of his life. He has two paths to chose from...

Conflict and resolution become hyperbolic when death is nearer than the horizon.

A momentous and crippling time for any young person, caring for a dying parent...trying desperately (and, at times, not-so-tactfully) to extract as much information about family history, those hidden truths...before it's too late!

Jonathan's family has many secrets...they all unravel in a carefully punctuated film. Jannis Niewohner has the kind of face that commands attention...thankfully, his acting abilities do him justice.

But...it's Andre Hennicke, as his father, who physically disintegrates in front of our very eyes...his performance is pivotal in what will be Jonathan's final choice - as his son. A lesser actor could have floundered amid the demands of the pain, deceit and decrepitude...but, the warmth and chemistry between these two actors is...mesmerising.

Lewandowski's first feature...impressive to say the least.

A beautiful, thoughtful and touching film.


The(ir) Blurb...

Jonathan is 23; he and his aunt, Martha, work on their farm. Jonathan also devotes himself to looking after his father Burghardt, who has cancer. But, railing against his own decrepitude that prevents him from a dignified end, his father stubbornly sabotages all of his son’s efforts. Jonathan finds it increasingly difficult to cope until they hire a young carer, Anka, to help. Jonathan and Anka fall in love; her experience of working at a hospice helps Jonathan to gain a new inroad into his father’s situation. When Burghardt’s long-lost boyhood friend Ron appears on the scene his health visibly improves and, although the family sees Ron as an intruder and is against it, Ron continues to stay on to be with Burghardt. Jonathan discovers that, many years ago, his father and Ron were deeply in love. All at once, the façade of cherished family beliefs crumbles and long-repressed secrets come to light – but Jonathan also learns how to let go of his father and to accept his death as something that will open up the path towards a self-determined life.

Jonathan pflegt seit Jahren seinen schwerkranken Vater Burghardt und bewirtschaftet gemeinsam mit seiner Tante Martha den Bauernhof der Familie. Die Pflege des Vaters, die Organisation des Hofes und die schwere Arbeit auf dem Feld bestimmen seinen Alltag. Das Verhältnis zwischen Martha und Burghardt ist angespannt, jahrelang haben sie kein Wort miteinander gewechselt.

Dass Burghardt keine Nähe zulassen kann und Jonathans Fragen zum frühen Tod seiner Mutter stets unbeantwortet lässt, macht die Situation nicht einfacher. Jonathan spürt, dass etwas zwischen ihnen steht, kann die Mauer zu seinem Vater aber nicht durchdringen.

Da sich Burghardts Zustand zusehends verschlechtert, stellt Martha die Pflegerin Anka ein, die Jonathan mit ihrer Offenheit verzaubert. Er ist fasziniert von der Leichtigkeit mit der Anka den essenziellen Fragen des Lebens begegnet und verliebt sich Hals über Kopf.

Als Burghardts verschollen geglaubter Jugendfreund Ron auftaucht, blüht Jonathans Vater regelrecht auf. Für Jonathan ist Ron jedoch ein Eindringling. Seine Abneigung verstärkt sich, als er nach und nach mehr über eine Vergangenheit erfährt, von der er nichts ahnte. Ein lange verborgenes Familiengeheimnis stellt das Vater-Sohn-Verhältnis vor eine Zerreißprobe.

Langsam versteht Jonathan, dass er seinen eigenen Weg finden muss – und Lieben auch bedeutet, loslassen zu können.


Cast & Characters

Jannis Niewohner as Jonathan;
Andre Hennicke as Burkhard;
Julia Koschitz as Anka;
Thomas Sarbacher as Ron;
Barbara Auer as Martha;
Max Mauff as Lasse;
Leon Seidel as Maik;
Ella-Maria Gollmer as Christina;
Anja Antonowicz as Krankenschwester;
Robert Alexander Baer as Vaddi;
Carsten Strauch as Bernd;
Matthias Lodd as Arzt;
Christine Rollar as Stationsschwester;
Stefan Wendel as Pfleger;
Romina Kuper as Vera

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