The Forest for the Trees (Der Wald vor lauter Baumen)

Rated NR 81 minutes 2005

An idealistic young educator is ostracized for her lack of teaching skills and civil graces. Full of youthful idealism, Melanie Proeschle leaves her rural flat and boyfriend to take a mid-year post teaching fifth and ninth graders in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe. The school atmosphere is immediately intimidating and her older colleagues are dismissive of her more progressive teaching techniques. The only teacher near her own age is the geeky Thorsten Rehm, who seems friendly but comes on too strong. Things seem initially more promising at home, where Melanie greets her new neighbors with homemade schnapps before initiating a tentative friendship with the infinitely more worldly, Tina Schaffner, who lives across the way. The worse things get at school, the more Melanie begins to overcompensate by inserting herself in Tina's life. At first friendly and tolerant, the neighbor soon grows openly hostile, prompting Melanie to succumb to the pressures of her life.

Film Credits

Director: Maren Ade

Writer: Maren Ade

Producer: Janine Jackowski

Cast: Eva Loebau, Daniela Holtz, Jan Neumann, Ilona Schulz, Robert Schupp, Heinz Röser-Dümmig, Martina Eckrich, Nina Fiedler, Hans-Rüdiger Kucich and Ruth Köppler

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