The film “Datsche” by Lara Hewitt, which was released last October, offers a view of Germany from the outside, but is also a film for everyone who has ever loved a place and had to leave it. The comical and at the same time moving film is about overcoming prejudices and the breakthrough humanity in a small allotment near Potsdam. At the same time it is a British woman’s swan song for the beautiful dream of Europe, a thank you and a farewell.
Valentine Hermann, an out-of-work New York actor has travelled to Berlin to the summer to discover his German roots and stay at the ‘datsche’ or summer cottage that his dead grandfather has left to him. Only the datsche isn’t actually in Berlin, it’s out in in former East Germany on a garden allotment colony that’s full of old people who seem to think the Berlin Wall never fell, and where not everybody is foreigner-friendly. Especially not Gregor, a neighbour with passions for hedge-trimming and nationalism. Which is a problem for Valentine, since he happens to have a refugee hiding in his datsche attic.
Adam blames the bad timing of his arrival in Germany as the reason why his application for asylum has been denied. But now he faces deportation – that is if he is found. Valentine allows Adam to stay at the datsche and promises not to tell anyone about him. But it’s not long before Valentine tires of the quiet allotment life and accidentally invites some random people from the internet to join him in his garden. Cue Maria, a beautiful and mysterious Greek woman; Zorro, a charming Argentinian drug dealer, and Stefan, a bumbling blond Bavarian who travels with his own tent and gun.
Adam is not happy about the new arrivals, and nor is Gregor….
Comments about the film:
“Hewitt’s lovingly mocking look at German idiosyncrasies and the culture clash that foreign summer guests experience in the allotment garden colony gives the film original and accurate humor.” (Kino-zeit.de)
“Last but not least, Datsche tells of solidarity and togetherness in the fight against small-mindedness, prejudice and hatred. A comedic consideration of life in a German allotment garden and the power of solidarity.” (Spielfilm.de)
“Lara Hewitt’s feature debut is a fish-out-of-water comedy with a big heart.” (Ex-Berliner)