Drama | Chris Kraus | 2010
In the summer of 1914, a 14-year-old German girl returns to her home on
the Baltic coast, a place uneasily shared by Germans, Russians and
Estonians. While her morbid scientist father controls the family with
cruel hand, the passionate young girl secretly nurses a wounded Estonian
anarchist back to health - at first an act of curiosity and then of
defiance that could set off an uncontrollable chain reaction...
the eve of World War I, 14-year-old Oda von Siering returns to Poll, her
family home on the Baltic coast, a region uneasily shared by Germans,
Russians and Estonians. With her are the mortal remains of her mother,
who passed away in Berlin. Awaiting the bright and inquisitive girl are
her father Ebbo, an eccentric scientist with a dubious interest in
racial breeding; her aunt Milla, who flees reality through music and
affairs; and other members of her aristocratic German family, who are
clinging to their privileges in a world on the brink of disaster. Upon
finding a wounded Estonian anarchist on the estate, the passionate,
impulsive Oda fearlessly hides him and secretly nurses him back to
health, aware that her deed could trigger a chain reaction of
uncontrollable violence. She falls in love with the young man, a writer
who stimulates her craving for romance and adventure. He, however, plans
to leave Poll as soon as possible. But he underestimates the power of
her feelings toward him and of her alienation from a world she has
little in common with.
"The Poll Diaries" hauntingly evokes the
end-of-days atmosphere of a doomed society at the crossroads of the
German and Russian Empires in the early years of the 20th century.
Following his award-winning "Four Minutes" (Audience Awards at the
Hamptons and San Francisco, German Film Awards and Best Film Award in
Shanghai and Sofia), director Chris Kraus now presents the masterly
portrait of a segment of civilization and humanity sliding into chaos
and anarchy. Shot on the Baltic coast in and around a spectacularly
precarious mansion, "The Poll Diaries" features a gallery of superb
actors, led by the radiant young breakout star Paula Beer.