UPDATE: I posted this information before I even saw the film as I knew an earlier work by film maker Emily Atef (‘Molly’s way‘ / see post) … and was right to do so >>> The Stranger in me is a strong movie focusing on an unpopular theme and narrating its story convincingly in an unsentimental way. Impressive the space the film admites to the main actress Susanne Wolff who fulfills the premise and contributes an amazing presence to the characterization of the ‘failing’ mother. Take a chance and see the film!!
The Stranger in Me – Das Fremde in mir is a the most recent film by young filmmaker Emily Atef. It is the courageous and well conveyed attempt to deal with the symptom of postpartum depression. Thus a rare opportunity to look at issues concerning a not too small amount of women (and their partners) which might accompany motherhood / parentship from a very different angle:
A young couple in love: Rebecca (32) and her boyfriend Julian (34) are expecting their first child and are full of pleasant expectation. As Rebecca gives birth to a healthy boy their luck seems to be perfect. but instead of the unconditional motherly love she was expecting, she is thrown into an emotional turmoil. helplessness and desperation reign and her own baby is a stranger to her.
With every day that passes, her inability to meet the demands of motherhood become more and more apparent. Unable to admit this to anyone, not even Julian, she falls into a deep darkness – to the point that she realizes she is becoming a threat to her child. After a break down, Rebecca is sent to a clinic. Slowly she begins to long for the touch, smell and laughter of her child. An awakening, perhaps, of the mother inside her.
“We all grow up with this notion that a mother will love her newborn instinctively and unconditionally. There is something almost sacred to this idealized mother image. In Germany alone, 80,000 new cases of postnatal depression are reported every year, yet we still know very little about this illness, which is rarely even talked about.”
“THE STRANGER IN ME is a very personal portrait of a woman, who is going through a severe crisis. And it is a love story about two people, who’ve become strangers but, as a result of this crisis, end up growing closer than they’ve ever been.” (link)