Living Room (2008)


The mills of society continue to grind and demand a tribute from its members. Those who cannot adjust will be put offside, thwarted. We are interested in the moment where the individual’s life plan interferes with the grinding of those mills – a situation in which the disharmonious grating, well-known to most people, is room

Young people at the end of their education confront their parents with their goals and wishes. Parents, established in a societal context, hold against those ideas, question, worry and represent the workings of society. Their fears and concerns are part of the undertow down into a standardised existence.

„Your studies: a bad investment for us. You should learn a trade, so that you can support yourself and your family.” – “Dropping out of your education is out of the question for us. It’s all going so well at the moment.” – “We only want you to achieve.” – “And what are we going to tell the neighbours when they ask what you’re doing?” We are in the parents’ living rooms. The living room signal: this is where they have established themselves, this is where the wishes and perspectives of their lives as parents have taken on a material form. Our protagonists, with their insecurity, their “crazy” ideas of the future seem like aliens here. This is the stage on which we want to show the conflict between society’s demands and individual ways of life, a stage showing actual life, but also serving as an allegory for the interconnectedness of society.

In repeating this situation – young people at the end of their education, in their parents’ living rooms – we choose a vertical perspective that is atypical for documentary films. We are not interested in narrating the individual protagonists’ stories with their before and after, the horizontal, but in the development of the lines of dispute with their similarities and differences; the energy that is set free when people struggle with each other. This way of looking at things forms a very clear mirror for the mechanism that limits and classifies us, that we have to work on to make our life possible.