Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Longing 2005


Directed by Valeska Grisebach

The simplest love story on earth, about a man truly in love with two women, becomes a wonderfully lucid mix of vérité and eternity, a radiant little masterpiece set in small hamlet near Berlin.

Germany In German
88 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Bernhard Keller


Bettina Böhler
Valeska Grisebach
Natalie Barrey


Andreas Müller
Ilka Welz
Anett Dornbusch


This story of a man truly in love with two women – his wife, and a waitress he meets at a volunteer firemen’s training week in another town – has a mute intensity and a wisdom about the complexity of such affairs that may take your breath away.

“[The filmmaker Valeska Grisebach] went to a small hamlet near Berlin, talked to people, took some notes with her video camera, and eventually developed her findings into the simplest love story on earth. With a cast assembled from the hamlet’s inhabitants, the result is a mesmerizing mixture of vérité and eternity: a radiant film about very ordinary people who can deliver lines like ‘I love you so much it hurts’ and give them real meaning. The trembling of the voices and the innocence in the faces of these people make this nothing less than a masterpiece.” — Olaf Möller, Film Comment 

"The movie has a subtle but beautifully direct naturalism that imbues the film with an absolute authenticity… Nothing is overstated or made explicit, but everything is wonderfully lucid." — Geoff Andrew, Time Out