(aka, Hinter Der Tür)
Helen Mirren & Martina Gedeck
The symphonic music that accompanies an elderly washerwoman (Mirren) as she goes about her chores in the opening scene sets the stage for the intelligent adult movie that is about to unfold. Emerence inhabits humble ground-floor quarters in front of a grand house, where Magda (Gedeck) and her husband, Tibor (Karoly Eperjes), have just come to live. Surprised by, but tolerant of, the old lady’s blunt, often insulting speech and uncompromising manner, Magda persuades her to clean their house.
Rumors around the neighborhood hint darkly at secrets in Emerence’s past, which she does nothing to dispel. Her door has been closed to visitors for decades, and Magda believes Emerence is hiding Jewish property she stole during the war.
As grating as the old lady is, Tibor can’t do without her cooking nor Magda without her cleaning, so they put up with all her eccentricities, which include bursting into their bedroom unannounced and insisting they display a ceramic dog statue in their elegant intellectual digs. (Dogs and cats play an important role as surrogate objects of affection.) Gradually a strange bond is forged between the two women that brings out the strength of one character and the weakness of the other.
This movie has a English (spoken) soundtrack.
Running Time 95 minutes
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