Gengenüber (Mistreatment)

Article published on Nov. 19, 2007
community published
Article published on Nov. 19, 2007
Germany / 2007 : Jam Bonny Direction : Jam Bonny and Christina Ebelt Script : Bettina Brokemper and Andrea Hanke ( Heimafilms WDR) Production : Georg ( Matthias Brandt) & Anne ( Victoria Trauttmansdorff) Performers A SICK SOCIETY Nothing is “normal” when Jam Bonny, Colonia’s new director, takes us with his opera prima “Mistreatment ” into the daily ins and outs of Georg and Anne’s marriage,
seemingly perfect to the eyes of society. He is a policeman of half-hearted character and she is a schoolteacher who needs to give and receive affection.


The problems dragging in the couple become uncomfortable ghosts between them; Anne’s love gets stuck and turns to violence as an outlet. Georg, impassive to his wife’s abuse, makes every effort so that nothing looks like a drama. With a carefully studied script and a deep description of the prominent characters, Jam Bonny puts on the table the drama of a reality which is more common than it seems to be: the mistreatment of a man by a woman. The film takes violence as an axis around which the story spins, but “Mistreatment” shows the inability to communicate, the difficulty of living together, emotional dependencies, loneliness, women’s yearning for social recognition, the adjustment of middle classes and the social conventions. The performances of Victoria Trauttmansdorff (Anne) and Matthias Brandt (Georg) are loaded with an intimate tension at the edge of emotional borders which incites the spectator to approach the characters without judging them as either victims or victimizers. The film director himself assured in a press conference that he doesn’t intend to make such a distinction. “To distinguish between victim and victimizer is an evil method if one seeks to understand what is really going on”. It’s about “two people who spin on themselves, alone with their horror and their desire”.

Concha Hierro

Translated by

Diana Irene Arancibia