A film that wants to make a difference

All is Well is the debut movie written and directed by German director Eva Trobisch. The movie opens with a glimpse of the quiet domestic life that the main character Janne (played by Aenne Schwarz) shares with her partner Piet.

The title of the movie is a phrase that Janne keeps repeating to everyone whenever she’s asked about her life or how she feels (along with a tight smile). Yet, it doesn’t reflect the reality of her situation: the couple had lost their business and are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Janne gets invited to a college reunion where she meets her old colleagues who share their success stories. Janne gets sexually assaulted by one of the attendees. Janne decides not to report the incident or share it with anyone and decides to move on with her life as if nothing had happened. When she gets a job opportunity with an old acquaintance, she accepts it to find out later that her assailant is her new colleague. He tries making amends by offering her different ways out to the tricky situation they find themselves in that she refuses completely insisting that “all is well”.

Her continuous denial of what had happened starts affecting her personal and professional life as she slowly slips into depression. From the opening to the closing scenes of the movie, Eva Trobisch reflects the pressure of modern societies that had moulded women’s attitude and behaviour.

The stigma of being a victim of a sexual assault is demonstrated clearly in Janne’s continuous denial of it ever happening, which leads to oppression of her feelings that eventually affects her psyche and ruins her relationship with those surrounding her.

There is also a notable absence of the supportive male figure that Hollywood seems to throw at every movie in the form of a partner, a friend or a relative. Janne’s boss and the closest thing to a friend is sucked into his own marital problems to notice Janne’s deteriorating emotional state. Janne’s solitude reflects the state many of us feel nowadays. Another interesting angle that the movie sheds light on is the personal and professional sacrifices that women are expected to make – more than their male partners – in order of not being seen as selfish or unsupportive (something that western societies share equally with us the eastern ones).

The movie had won ten awards in different film festivals including best film, best actress and best director. When presenting the Eva Trobisch with the best director award in Munich Film Festival, the presenter described the movie as “a film that wants to make a difference.” It’s available on Netflix and recommended for serious movie lovers.

The author is a certified skills trainer and the author of The World According to Bahja. rashabooks@yahoo.com