The Poll Diaries

The Poll Diaries  {Poll}
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The Poll Diaries
Germany, 2010, 134 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Austria / Estonia
US Premiere
Topics: Coming of Age, Drama, History, War
Program: World Cinema Now
Language: German English Sub-Titles

On the eve of WWI, 14-year-old Oda Schaefer (Paula Beer, mesmerizing)—soon to grow into the real-life German poet—journeys by train to live with her estranged and discredited doctor father. She brings with her two “gifts”: her dead mother’s body and a two-headed fetus. So begins Chris Krause’s strange and deeply affecting drama that examines the chaotic home life of the poetess-to-be against the backdrop of civilization coming apart at the seams. Oda’s father has little regard for human life—he is more concerned with furthering his disturbing studies on biology and destiny. Her stepmother is carrying on an affair. A wounded anarchist brings out Oda’s maternal side, as she secretly nurses him back to life. Meanwhile Archduke Ferdinand has been shot and the world is sliding inexorably into war….

Observant and profoundly humanist in belief and act, Oda serves as the audience surrogate, allowing us entry into a harsh and mysterious time, a time when the sacred sat alongside the profane, when the bizarre and gory were countered by the beautiful and the deeply felt. The Poll Diaries is a singular work, not easily forgotten.

DIRECTOR: Chris Kraus
Producer: Alexandra Kordes, Meike Kordes
Editor: Uta Schmidt, BFS
Screenwriter: Chris Kraus
Cinematographer: Daniela Knapp
Music: Annette Focks
Principal Cast: Nina Haum, Britt Beyer, Markus Schleinzer
Filmography: Four Minutes (2006),Shattered Glass (2002)
Print Source: Bavaria Film International -

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