Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sonnenallee: A Film of Fairy Tale Characteristics

            On Friday evening, November 14th, I watched the movie, Sonnenallee.  I had neither seen nor heard of this movie prior to seeing it just yesterday, but I knew that it had to be an excellent film.  I based these conclusions on the facts that it is a German movie and the content of the film addresses the conflict between East and West Germany, or more specifically, East and West Berlin during the 1970s.  The film centers around the life of Micha, who is a 17-year old boy growing up in East Germany, and his quest to win the love of fellow classmate Miriam Sommer.  Embedded within Sonnenallee's plot are indeed characteristics of fairy tales that can be analyzed and interpreted to ascertain a different meaning.  One such feature of the film that is attributed with many fairy tales is the idea that these stories are marked by stark contrasts.  In the case of this particular film, this is gathered from the idea that the geeky boy with nothing special about him was able to win the heart of the girl who was so popular and beautiful that she literally stopped traffic.  Although it took much persistence and determination on Micha's part, he was able to prove his love for Miriam in the end.  

            Another trait of the fairy tale that is exhibited in Sonnenallee is the concept of character isolation.  It is typical in most fairy tales for only a few characters to be present, and ultimately this is for the reason that the main action of the story is more clearly defined and accurately carried out.  In the film, there are many more characters than is to be expected in the average fairy tale, but each character or group of characters is following their own isolated storyline.  Micha is pursuing the love of Miriam, and simultaneously battling his feelings on signing up for military service.  Mario becomes dedicated to loving his girlfriend, Sabrina, and caring for her as he learns they have conceived a child together.  Wuschel spends the entire movie doing everything he can to procure a forbidden record of the Stones.  Overall, there are many more examples that outline the isolation of the characters; thereby, explaining how this characteristic of a fairy tale is present in Sonnenallee.  

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