Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Perspektive Deutsches Kino

Tal der Ahnungslosen

Valley Of The Innocent

VALLEY OF THE INNOCENT

Shortly before her fortieth birthday, police inspector Eva Meyer is transferred from Frankfurt-on-Main to Dresden, where she grew up in a home for children and young people. This Afro-German woman has not been back to the town of her birth since she was eighteen. Deciding that the time has come to find out the truth about her origins, she sets off in search of her parents.
Her research leads her to the heart of Stasi memories, to an office where documents once kept by the GDR’s secret police are filed and stored. Here, she learns why her birth was hushed up and how two people’s love for each other ended in betrayal.
Eva’s mother was a married woman named Helga who once had an affair with an African student. The colour of Eva’s skin would have given away her mother’s infidelity instantly and so, anxious to avoid scandal, Helga’s husband agrees to put Eva in a home – and work as an informer for the Stasi. The African student, Shepard, is deported.
Now that she understands the far-reaching implications of her mother’s entanglement, Eva decides she is at last ready to face her. But before Eva gets to meet her mother, she learns that her family have been living a lie all these years: as far as Eva’s half-sister is concerned, Eva’s mother did not leave her husband and Eva was able to grow up with her parents. Furious and hurt by this fabrication, Eva sends her mother all the information she has collated in an anonymous letter. Eva’s package forces Helga to face up to the repressed and painful events of the past. She and her husband have a terrible row that leads to her husband’s accidental death. Distraught and in a complete turmoil, Helga disappears.
Meanwhile, Eva takes up her new post working for Dresden police force in the belief that the subject of her family is now a closed chapter. However, the real search has only just begun.
Eva’s half-sister, Maria, reports her mother to the police as a missing person. Soon after, Eva discovers the dead body of her step-father in the garden of her parents’ home. Now it’s up to her to try and trace her mother yet again, this time in the role of police inspector …

Germany 2003, 85 min

by

Branwen Okpako

with

Nisma Cherrat
Angelica Domröse
Kirsten Block