On the shore of the Walchensee, a lake not too far from Munich, lies Café Bucherer. Since its foundation, the coffeehouse has been a family- and women-owned business. Now the founder’s great-grandchild, documentary film maker Janna Ji Wonders, has created a very empathic film about the four generations of women in her family. Janna Ji Wonders’ documentary story spans 80 years and combines contemporary interviews with historical footage. She shows how her grandma managed the coffee shop by herself during the war and later decided against marriage and to stay in business. She investigates the journeys of her mother and aunt, who went off to Mexico in the 70s, equipped with a chopping board and traditional costumes, and had wild times in the Munich “Harem” commune. The sisters stray far from home on their search for adventure, self-fulfillment and a chance to escape their traumatizing family history.
But their paths keep leading back to the lake, to their origins and to the women who have shaped their story from the beginning.Janna Ji Wonders tells us about the solidarity among them, about the difficulties such family relations can bring and about how their ways of dealing with loss and family secrets have changed. “Walchensee Forever” is about how history strongly affects our present time and how suppressed experiences and events will keep causing symptoms until people stop looking away. A personal and at the same time highly up to date film that shows that we are still in the midst of coming to terms with our past, and that history is never quite finished.
“Walchensee Forever” won the Bayerischer Filmpreis Award for Best Documentary and the Deutscher Kamerapreis Award for Best Cut.
Director: Janna Ji Wonders; Documentar;
OV; 110 min
Age rating: FSK 6