Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Outside Time (Neben der Zeit)

Andreas Kleinert(1995)


Genre: Narrative
Language: German (English subtitles)

This film is available as a DVD in the Project Library at Royal Holloway, University of London

Outside Time is the second feature film of Andreas Kleinert, a German director who grew up in the GDR and who started making films at the time of the fall of the Wall. Dresen is not a migrant/diasporic filmmaker, however, Outside Time is interesting in the context of this project since it is concerned with the issue of 'displaced Russians', a thematic concern it shares with Gorilla Bathes at Noon (Dusan Makavejev, 1993) and World Champion (Weltmeister, Zoran Solomun, 1993). 

The film is set in a small town somewhere in Brandenburg, a place which, as the title suggests, is rapidly falling ‘outside time’ since it cannot keep pace with the changes brought about by unification and the transformation of the former GDR. The Russian troops stationed there have withdrawn and their barracks have turned into rat-infested ruins; the intercity trains do not stop there any more and even the regional railway link to Berlin is going to be suspended. Most young people are leaving. Against this backdrop, the film tells the fateful love story of a young East  German woman, Sophie, and Sergej, a Russian deserter. When Sophie introduces her lover to her mother and her brother, Sergej becomes embroiled in the incestuous tensions underlying the relationship between Sophie, her brother, Georg, and her mother. The mother is drawn towards Sergej because he reminds her of her own adulterous affair with a Ukrainian soldier shortly after the war. At the same time Sophie’s mother and brother are jealous of Sergej and fear that he will take her away from the family. The arrival of the Russian implodes the claustrophobic sham existence that held this dysfunctional family together: Sophie's brother kills Sergej and Sophie eventually leaves the small town 'outside time'. 

(Synopsis from: Daniela Berghahn, Hollywood behind the Wall: The Cinema of East Germany, Manchester University Press, 2005) 

Posted by Daniela Berghahn on 17 May 2006 • Discuss this Film

Last edited: 21 11 2006 - Designed by PageToScreen