"A remarkably affecting work that doesn't go for easy sentiment."
"A quiet triumph!"
– New York Magazine
"Director Andrea Staka plays the actors like a fine instrument, eliciting anxiety, pain, passion and joy that feel genuine."
– The Portland Tribune,
Ruza left Belgrade more than 25 years ago to seek a new life in Zurich. Now in her fifties, she has completely detached herself from the past. She owns a cafeteria and maintains an orderly, joyless existence. Mila, a waitress there, is a good-humored Croatian woman who also emigrated decades ago, but, unlike Ruza, she dreams of returning to a house on the Croatian coast. Both of them receive a jolt when Ana, a young, itinerant woman who has fled Sarajevo, breezes into the cafeteria looking for work. Ruza hires her but is annoyed by Ana's impulsive and spirited efforts to inject life into the cafeteria. Gradually the acrimony will dissipate, as Ana, who hides a tragic secret under her passionate spirit, begins to thaw Ruza's chill, and their relationship will change both women in ways they never anticipated.
Director and Cast
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Format: DVD (NTSC)
Encoding: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Letterboxed
Screen Format: 16x9 Widescreen (Anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Closed Captioned: No
August 6, 2006
By Jay WeissbergAndrea Staka's Golden Leopard winner "Fraulein" introduces a strong new voice in Swiss cinema.
--Jay Weissberg/ Variety - Review
LOCARNO, Switzerland -- The heartache that accompanies reluctant exile as experienced by three women from the former Yugoslavia underpins Andrea Staka's poignant drama "Das Fraulein," which won the Golden Leopard for best film in competition at the Locarno International Film Festival....
Making her feature debut, Swiss-born writer-director Staka, whose parents were Yugoslavian exiles, uses the Zurich locations evocatively, writes in-sightful dialogue and draws naturalistic acting from the principals. The result is a picture that should thrive in Europe and at art houses and suggests a bright future for the filmmaker.
--Ray Bennett / The Hollywood Reporter - Review
By Dawn Taylor
"Fraulein" is an intriguing picture about people struggling in ways that are so personal that they become universal….It's primarily a character study, and an excellent one. Director Andrea Staka plays the actors like a fine instrument, eliciting anxiety, pain, passion and joy that feel genuine.
--Dawn Taylor / Portland Tribune - Review
Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
Brock Toon - Customer Review
A promising effort from director Staka. Excellent character development allows viewers to understand the pathos of the main players, particularly that of Ruza and her young counterpart, Ana. Marija Škarièiæ shines here as the troubled, but ever-optimistic and indefatigable main player. The film doesn't give you the neat and happy ending you might be hoping for, but that's a point in favor of this grounded work.