- Director: Anatol Schuster
- Writer: Anatol Schuster; Britta Schwem
- Producer: Isabelle Bertolone; Marius Ehlayil
There is so much to admire in this debut feature...the cinematography [especially those drone shots!], the music [even the accordian sounds good!], the performances [all plausible, all relatable] and then, there's the direction [slick, imaginative and efficient].
Manja is the perfect, wrong-side-of-the-tracks, ever-smiling, school-girl...who sees the good in just about everyone. Louk, the rebellious and unpredictable, has her issues...the two form a bond. But...will that bond go in the direction that Manja wants it to go? Or, will her desires remain - frustratingly - unrequited?
Anatol Schuster plays with his audience, it's a little cat-and-mouse...what with all the male suitors popping in and out...and, Louk running hot-and-cold to Manja's - obvious - adoration. It's all very idealistic YAs being irresponsible YAs...with the added addition of good old-country tradition [lovely scenes with Manja's Baboushka] that gives the film a solid grounding and a required context...different generations, different cultures and languages. Different lives...where love is the bond.
A fine film that may have benefitted from a stronger ending...but, by no means does it detract from the film, it does add a little mystery. But, for the sake of its target audience...it is a Y[oung]A[dult] film and, perhaps, those young adults would have preferred something more concrete...or, maybe they wouldn't! Just an opinion of an older mind...on an assured debut.
MANJA (17) lives in a high-rise development on the outskirts of the city. As she rushes in the arms of rebel LOUK (17) who is on the run from hunters in the woods, this is the beginning of a first love. No lies, no traces, no fear - this is Louk's credo. And Manja follows her in quiet surrender. But when Manja realizes that Louk's idealism hides a deep wound left by the loss of her mother, she helps her to say goodbye to the past - and learns to let go herself. AIR is a cinematic poem on the freedom of love and the purity of the heart.