Review: ‘Love Child’

Stories about incest can be worthy if they shed light onto a traditionally closeted issue, but in "Liebeskind," the subject remains repugnant. While short-waisted siren Anna Fischer gives a sensitive as well as brash portrayal of woman-child Alma, she will not be enough to draw auds outside of very limited arthouse exposure.

Stories about incest can be worthy if they shed light onto a traditionally closeted issue, but in “Liebeskind,” in which little is at stake dramatically, the subject remains repugnant. While short-waisted siren Anna Fischer gives a sensitive as well as brash portrayal of woman-child Alma, the deeply conflicted heroine of Jeanette Wagner’s pic, she will not be enough to draw auds outside of very limited arthouse exposure.

Alma can’t decide whether she’s a sexpot or a daddy’s girl, so she strives to be both: Her estranged father (Lutz Blochberger), a doctor who spends most of his time on philanthropic trips to the Third World, has been apart from Alma’s mother for years and Alma has never adjusted. Her reacquaintance with him involves both piggy-back rides and hard-sell seduction. Performances are good, as are production values, but when the film finally arrives at its tawdry, single-minded destination, it’s almost a relief. Helmer Wagner may be exorcising demons, but unless one shares them, they seem better off undisturbed.

Love Child

Germany

Production

A Beaglefilms production, in association with ZDF Kleines Fernsehspiel and MediaPark. Produced by Juri Wiesner. Directed, written by Jeanette Wagner.

Crew

Camera (color, 35mm), Francisco Dominguez; editor, Frank Brummundt; production designer, Tommy Stark; costume designer, Kathrin Plath. Reviewed at Slamdance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 23, 2006. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Anna Fischer, Lutz Blochberger, Radik Golovkov, Viviane Bartsch.
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