by Pia Marais
»The Unpolished« tells the story of a girl caught up in a complicated adult world. A world in which the child/parent roles have been washed away and responsibilities are thrown back and forth.
Stevie, a precocious 14-year-old girl must cope with the instabilities of her immoderate parents. When they decide to move to a small provincial town in Germany, Stevie attempts to slip into a normal life. Whilst her parents playfully escape their responsibilities, Stevie tries to make a good impression in town, spreading stories of grandeur and claiming to be the daughter of a diplomat. She makes progress. Yet the good weather doesn't last and before long, she discovers that her parents have once more resorted to illegal means, as a way of supporting their leisurely lifestyle. As friends and hangers-on of her parents fill their new home, the chaos continually mounts. It is in this atmosphere of physical and emotional destruction, that Stevie must now start to define herself and perhaps even break free.
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. My father was a lunatic actor trained at RADA and a descendent of the French Hugenots and English colonials who had settled in South Africa. My mother is Swedish and was responsible for the sanity in my upbringing and the Waldorf School education. Part of my upbringing was spent in Southern Africa, except for a few years in Sweden and Spain. Initially I studied sculpture, then went on to photography before realising that due to the narrative character of what I was doing, film would be the appropriate medium.
Having studied art at Chelsea School of Art (London), The Rietveld Akademie (Amsterdam) and KunstAkademie (Duesseldorf), I went on to study film at the Deutsche Film- und Fernseh-Akademie (DFFB) in Berlin. After several engagements in film business as casting director, assistant director and writer »Die Unerzogenen« (The Unpolished) is my first feature length film.
»Die Unerzogenen« (The Unpolished) 35 mm, colour, 95 mins, (treatment prize Saarbrücken 02)
»Good Hope« feature-documentary, ca. 90 mins - in development
»Eine Frau wie Ellen« feature film - in development
»17« (Seventeen) 35 mm, colour, 20 mins, short feature film
»Tricky People« 16 mm, Farbe, 19 mins, short feature film
»Deranged« 16 mm, colour, 13 mins, short feature film
»Loop« 16 mm, s/w, 5 mins
Céci Chuh - Stevie
Birol Ünel - Axel
Pascale Schiller - Lily
Georg Friedrich - Ingmar
Directed by Pia Marais
Written by Horst Markgraf & Pia Marais
Producers: Claudia Steffen / Christoph Friedel
Commissioning Editor WDR: Andrea Hanke
Commissioning Editor SWR: Sabine Holtgreve
Director Of Photography: Diego Martinez Vignatti
Editors: Daniela Boch, Mona Bräuer
Music: Jochen Arbeit: Yoyo Röhm, Horst Markgraf
A production of Pandora Film Produktion
In co-production with WDR & SWR
Supported by Filmstiftung NRW, Filmförderungsanstalt, Media Programme of the European Community
Format: 35 mm / 24fps / 1:1.85 / Colour / Dolby Digital
Length: 95 Min
Original Language: German
Original Title: Die Unerzogenen