The film portrays the problems of people around the age of 40, who have already lived the larger part of their life, but on the other hand aren't willing or able to go on like this.
The action is centred in an old villa not far from Berlin. The film opens during a winter morning, February 13th, and finishes in the morning of February 14th, 1926. The season offers no refuge, and neither does the house.
The figures express their points of view relentlessly: Thomas; the successful scientist, Anselm... who wants to escape but is too weak; Maria, the sheltered woman who is lacking in personal experience, and breaks out to gain some; Regine, whose desire for freedom exceeds her own strength; Josef, her husband, who embodies the "normal" aspect, the static position; and Stader and Mertens, two "Witnesses" who rescue themselves in lofty mental constructions which can, however, sustain life.
The central question is: What is a relationship? Is it within our grasp, can it be maintained in the long run, and if not, what then?
The events framed by retrospective moments and outbursts, and space and time merge with increasing fluidity. The four main characters investigate their positions with radical consistency, questioning the very terms they use. The emotions become as exhausted as the intellect. By the end of the night they are all alone, but this is the only way they can find themselves.
They are autonomous people undergoing fundamental change, with powerful, sharp longings which work against "this settled life", this Spartan mentality without a plan.
Hermann Treusch, Sabine Sinjen, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Joachim Bliese, Lothar Blumhagen, Lieselotte Rau, Gottfried John, Stefan W
Jürgen Jürges, Rodger Hinrichs
35 mm Farbe