Divertingly if somewhat incongruously lightweight given its theme — parental mental illness from the children’s point of view — “Peaceful Times” is a 1960s-set family dramedy in which pining for life back East amid the freedom of West Germany is just one of Mom’s many eccentricities. Second feature by director Neele Vollmar doesn’t quite have the stuff to make a dent at arthouses abroad, but could attract offshore tube and possibly disc sales.
Forever distracted, bottle-blonde, flip-do’d housewife Irene (Katharina Schubert) is a disaster behind the wheel, forever getting into near-wrecks and sighing that she’s fated to die young — hardly comforting words to her children, particularly joined-at-hip sisters Ute (Nina Monka) and Wasa (Leonie Brill). With well-intentioned cluelessness, the girls try various schemes to keep mom alive, including encouraging her to divorce Dad (Oliver Stokowski). What they don’t quite grasp is that Irene is growing ever more paranoid about hubby’s alleged infidelities, an imminent WWIII and more. Pic opts for cuteness rather than deeper insight, leaving a pleasant if unmemorable impression.