On January 26, 2016; our Art in Film group reviewed Closed Season. In 1942 Fritz and Emma hide a Jewish refugee at their remote farm in the Black Forest. As the couple has unhappily remained childless, Fritz suggests an unorthodox deal and asks Albert to conceive a child with Emma on his behalf. The consequences are dramatic: Emma discovers her sexuality, Fritz cannot control his jealousy and Albert feels trapped between the two of them. Against the background of war, an unpredictable drama unfolds that turns offenders into victims and vice versa.
Film released January 15, 2016. Directed by Franziska Schotterer. Cast included Brigitte Hobmeier as Emma; Christian Friedel as Albert; and Hans-Jochen Wagner as Fritz.
This film proved to be a very complex story with many interpretations. Our review was a diverse viewpoint discussion on the many elements to the story.
Bebe Nagel, Bud Davis, Caryn W., Deanna, Elinor Steffensen, Gerrie Beck, Glenn Lippman (Discussion/Review Leader), and Kim Hough.
Suggested Movie Headlines included: Emerging Betrayals; A woman Scorned; Necessity; and Betrayal and Awakening.
Most Memorable Scenes: Emma giving a book to Albert; Fritz witnessing sex differently; Albert giving necklace to Fritz; Emma discovering that jewelry was made by Albert; Emma’s discovery of love and sex.
Which scenes were missing, in other words, the following scenes would have helped reveal the story: A moment of Albert’s past; Emma’s conflict more deeply exposed; Albert’s kibbutz life; More time to develop Albert’s relationship with his son.
Which scenes to shorten or remove: Remove Germans joking about Jews; Too many times when Fritz waited outside the door; and Reduce the number of scenes with Walter.
The film summary stated that passion, betrayal and jealousy were underlying emotions portrayed. Our reviewers expanded list of emotions to include: anxiety; fear; desperation; anguish; sadness; and loneliness.
We learned that roebuck is a male deer; alcohol’s effect on a good person; and shooting birds at night.
Our reviewers also agreed that the photography was perfect … lots of gray tones and muted colors to illustrate contrasts; captured the time frame of the 40’s in a German countryside.
Audience should be adult to understand the complexities of the relationships formed.
Summary. Our detailed film review brought out more depth in the film than when first observed. Closed Season left our reviewers with more questions than answers. For example, (a) did Albert choose Kibbutz life as a way to continue to punish himself for the guilt he felt for shunning Emma, falling in love with her and accepting Fritz’s request? (b) did Closed Season intend to describe Emma or Fritz? (c) did Albert invite his son back because it became clear to Albert that his son was growing up just like him? (d) did Fritz kill himself? etc. Great film, well written, never a dull moment, kept us engaged, and well directed.
Our reviewers rating for this film ranged from a low of 70% to a high of 100%. Average was 86%.