- Director: Eline Gehring
- Writer: Eline Gehring; Francy Fabritz; Sara Fazilat
- Producer: Sara Fazilat
What a frustrating film this is!
Why? Because...it needed one thing to erase the two problems that stops it from being an absolute great film.
One extra [final] scene...it would have lengthened the measly 69 minute runtime [10 minutes of closing credits is ridiculous]...and, more importantly, delivered the sucker-punch that this film so desperately needed. It ends with a puny grunt, rather than an air-punching cheer! With this film...you really do want to cheer...all the ingredients are there, in place...it's just bamboozling how 3 writers cannot see what is so obvious...alas, it's a common problem, when short film writers make that giant leap into the world of feature length!
Sara Fazilat is fantastic...she wears her heart-of-gold on her sleeve and leaves - wherever she goes - a wake of joy behind her...that is, unless you are an impatient driver!
As a statement on xenophobia, the writers could have taken this much, much further - but, the statement it does deliver is [still] loud and clear...although, it should have been louder! Deafening even. There is no police involvement which is an odd omission by the writers...all incidents of Hate Crime have to be reported to the police - it's an obvious avenue to explore...whether they take it seriously or not.
When a director [and writers] manage to get the audience on their side, not as easy as it sounds...the difficulty is, delivering what they want...otherwise, they'll leave baying at the moon...as is the case here
Nico is a mighty fine wee film as it is...incomplete. It's like a fantastic 1000-piece jigsaw with two missing pieces!
When we first meet Nico—the easygoing, funny, and put-upon German-Persian young woman at the heart of this superb drama—she is spending her breezy Berlin summer tending patiently to the needs of her elderly clients as a home health aide and making gentle mischief with her best friend Rosa. But Nico’s carefree attitude is forever changed when she becomes the victim of a xenophobic attack. Though her physical recovery is swift, we soon see—in her isolation from Rosa and her growing despondency—the full spectrum of what it means to feel unsafe in one’s skin. Two things may spell Nico’s comeback: the self-confidence she begins to find with a karate coach; and the growing intimacy offered by a mysterious and flirtatious young carnival worker.
In the title role, co-writer Sara Fazilat anchors the film with a performance that is at once dynamic, complex, and endearing. Director Eline Gehring’s supremely assured feature debut tells an engrossing and timely tale of what it takes to overcome the prejudice of others.
— CINDY LOU PEEPLES
Cast & Characters
Sara Fazilat as Nico
Sara Klimoska as Ronny