Janna Ji Wonders
A house near Walchensee is the setting for this autobiographical reappraisal that spans five generations. The storyline – from the pre- war years to the present day – reveals relationships and behavioural patterns in the lives of the women in this family that would not otherwise have been brought to the fore. The psychological core of film, however, revolves primarily around three characters: film-maker Janna Ji Wonders, her mother, photographer Anna Werner, and her younger sister Frauke, who took her own life while still very young. This is also the uncanny core of the film. In the very first scene, the director tells us in a video interview her mother made with her when she was a child of Frauke’s death. Childhood, fear, death – the Freudian concept of the uncanny, i.e. what we experience as a child but cannot put into a logical context, is both directly and latently present in the film. The film also makes use of the typical psychoanalytical methods these generations developed, above all those of the alternative movement of the post-war generation, which is the focus of the story. Anna Werner’s soft, almost whispering voice describes and deconstructs images of apparently harmonious scenes from the 1970s, but its gentleness also leaves scope for the viewers’ own interpretations. The psychological entanglements of the director, who often films herself – or remains present through her voice – find no resolution, leaving the film with an open ending.
Awards for Walchensee Forever
Best Documentary – Bavarian Film Award 2020
Janna Ji Wonders
Janna Ji Wonders was born in Mill Valley, California, but grew up near Walchensee in Bavaria. While studying at HFF Munich, she produced short films and music videos. Her documentaries Bling Bling (2001) about the gangster rap scene in L.A. and Street Punk Moscow (2005) about punks in Moscow’s suburbs were shown at international festivals and won multiple awards. Walchensee Forever is her first autobiographical full-length film following her first feature film I Remember (2013).
Films by Janna Ji Wonders
I Remember 2015 | Holy Home 2008 | Liebe ich dich 2006 | Kinder der Schlafviertel 2005 | Warten auf den Sommer 2003 | Bling Bling 2002