Sooner or later
by Ulrike von Ribbeck
Nora is fourteen and lives with her parents in a quiet Berlin suburb. She is a romantic introvert who spends her day retreated into her own enchanted dreamworld. Her parents, Anette and Uwe, are busy trying to handle reality; both are wrestling with unrealised hopes and dreams along with the added troubles caused by Anette's return to her studies and Uwe's struggling business.
When Thomas, a former lover of Anette's and his family move in next door, the already fragile foundations of Nora's family are rocked. Thomas, good looking and charming, is a failed actor and mountaineer. Nora immediately falls for the sensitive man. He represents everything her father lacks: savoir-vivre, vitality, worldliness and strength. Uwe can hardly bear how his former archrival now attracts all the attention with his "laissez-faire" charm and his larger-than-life stories.
While Anette succumbs to an affair with a fellow student and Uwe breaks ties with his business partner, Nora begins projecting her desires onto the charming neighbour. Things come to a head between Uwe and Thomas at a dinner party. The veneer of family bliss is under threat and Nora understands that maybe her wistful desires aren't compatible with reality.
Coming of age of a family
The basic idea was to create a film about the coming of age of a family, a family's life that is completely shattered. Just as in my previous short film, "At the lake", "Sooner or later" is about a young person who is confronted harshly with the grown-up world.
Lola Klamroth playing "Nora"
I've seen Lola for the first time in a magazine together with her father Peter Lohmeyer. I cut out the photo and kept it for months while writing the script. The photo was taken at an award ceremony and I was struck by the distinctive expression on her face, the wavy fair hair - her whole appearance had something glamorous about it. For me it was always clear that only Lola should play the role of Nora. When Lola finished reading the script and finally accepted the part together with her father, I was extremely happy. Lola was only fourteen years old when we shot "Sooner or later". Despite that she played Nora in a strikingly natural way, as if she actually knew the figure better than me: To me, it felt like she really was Nora.
Lola's part as Nora is her very first role in a feature film.
While developing the plot I wasn't interested in hugely dramatic storylines but rather in the inner world of the protagonists. Nora and her parents are not extreme; they are a perfectly normal middle-class German family. They do pretend, for themselves, to be perfect though; to build a protective wall against the hostile world outside. The truth is that they are beginning to feel unsure and insecure, losing their convictions in life. To maintain the idyllic façade is more difficult than any of them would admit. That was my challenge: to show this family microcosm in an emotional and engaging way. How do parents hide their desires? What are they actually not talking about? How lonely and separated can you live side by side with other people? In my film, everyone is talking about platitudes and never about feelings or what their real concerns are. No, instead of all that, they are talking about "dishwasher-proof tableware" or "K2 - the mountain of mountains". Everybody is carrying their desires around in silence without realizing that they are heading for an emotional catastrophe ...
Lola Klamroth - Nora
Peter Lohmeyer - Uwe
Harald Schrott - Thomas
Beata Lehmann - Anette
Katharina Heyer - Isa
Marie-Lou Sellem - Ellen
Thorsten Merten - Wolf
Fabian Hinrichs - Daniel
Director and Scriptwriter: Ulrike von Ribbeck
Co-Writer: Katharina Held
Producers: Beatrice Kramm, Steffi Ackermann
Cinematographer: Sonja Rom
Editor: Natali Barrey
Art Director: Ina Timmerberg
A production of Polyphon Film
In co-production with ZDF / Das Kleine Fernsehspiel and arte
Format: S16, Blow-Up / 25fps / 1:2,35 / Colour / Dolby Digital
Length: 91 Mins
Original Language: German
Original Title: Früher oder später
All Fotos Of Sooner Or Later © By David Baltzer/Zenit