A tragicomedy in the tradition of Kusturica, Kaurismäki and Jeunet, told with wry humour and accompanied by music and dance. The story begins at five o’clock on New Year’s Eve. The last ferry has just left Rostock for Copen­hagen, leaving a little group of late passengers stranded at the pier. They all have their own reasons for being somewhere before midnight. The chef of a rusty old pleasure boat unexpectedly offers them a passage to Denmark and the stragglers have no choice but to risk the crossing in this tub.
The small crew does its best to entertain the voyagers with a tireless succession of dance numbers and fine things to eat, but it soon becomes apparent that the situation on board the “Esperanza” is somewhat alarming. The vessel’s captain is hopelessly lost in pea-soup-thick fog, the electricity cuts out and, finally, the motor comes to a standstill. The old steamer is now bobbing up and down helplessly, on a sea as smooth as glass, illuminated by nothing but candles…
After a while, the passengers begin to tell their life stories. Hesitant at first, but then increasingly loquacious as their fear escalates, they reveal the absurd yet tragicomic nature of their sham existences. Each of them is somehow bound by invisible chains; dogged by cowardice, misunderstood loyalty, shyness, self-deception, delusion or simple misunderstandings.
As midnight approaches and they realise that they will not reach their destinations in time, they decide to strike up a tune, launching into wild New Year’s Eve party, with devilish cocktails and heavenly soufflés, fiery belly-dances and twirling waltzes. It is a celebration suffused with first experiences and final sighs. Lost on a sea shrouded in mist. They already know that, should they ever feel terra firma under their feet again, none of them will be the same again.
by Zsolt Bács
with Anna Thalbach, Frank Giering, Boris Aljinovic, Mavie Hörbiger, Gojko Mitic
Germany 2006 91’

Additional information

Download additional information