“WHERE I BELONG”—- Finding a Place

“WHERE I BELONG”

Finding a Place

Amos Lassen

Writer-Director Fritz Urschitz’s “Where I Belong” is his feature-length film debut  and is set when

Hitler consolidated power and the politics of the Third Reich drove thousands into exile. After being forced to leave Austria, Rosemarie Kohschitz (Natalie Press) and her ailing father Friedrich (Matthias Habich) went to England but unfortunately, when the war was over, the world they knew had changed forever. In the ‘50s they live together in a shabby English house and hard-working Rosemarie struggles to make ends meet by working in a garment shop. She studies typing and dictation classes in the evening in hopes of landing a better job. At home she is her father’s little Austrian daughter and all that he has left.

 

Friedrich tries to reclaim the estate that was taken from them in the war and Rosemarie’s life is split between evenings in the dance hall with her friends, work and the life with her father. Change comes for them both, however, when Anton arrives. He is a charming but married man in his 40’s who was Friedrich’s old charge from the days in an internment camp. With him come feelings of love, loss and longing.

 

Getting ahead in England is very difficult— they are little more than second-class citizens, and the relationship between daughter and father is not as fluid as it would be desired. Anton hides some parts of his life from Rosemarie.

 

Director Fritz Urschitz, creates the “mood” that he surely wanted, something like “this is life, either take it or leave it”, and soberly points out the relationships between the different characters, their love and her pain, and the joy of motherhood. But it’s a bit too light..

Hitler consolidated power, the politics of the Third Reich drove thousands into exile. After being forced to leave Austria, Rosemarie Kohschitz (Natalie Press) and her ailing father Friedrich (Matthias Habich) settled in England; unfortunately, when the war ended, the world they knew had changed forever, so the ‘50s finds the pair living together in a shabby English house, with the hard-working Rosemarie struggling to make ends meet by working in a garment shop and taking typing & dictation classes in the evening in hopes of landing a better job. When she gets home though, she becomes her father’s little Austrian daughter– she is all aging and embittered émigré has left.

 

While Friedrich tries in vain to reclaim the estate that was taken from them in the war, Rosemarie’s life is split between evenings in the dance hall with her friends and the grueling routine of her work and the life with her father. Change comes for them both, however, when Anton, a charming but married man in his 40’s — and Friedrich’s old charge from the days in an internment camp — arrives and triggers love, loss and longing in this intense period drama nominated for “Best Actress” and “Best Costume Design” at the Austrian Film Awards.

 

Rosemary is a young Austrian who lives with her father in England, both of whom fled their country during the Nazi occupation. Getting ahead there is not easy, they are little more than second-class citizens, and the relationship between daughter and father is not as fluid as it would be desired. While working and attending typing classes, she meets Anton, a man she likes, but who hides some parts of his life from her.

 

Laconic film, which languidly runs with sad music to tell the gray life of Rosemary and the difficulties of the environment in which it unfolds. Its director and screenwriter, the unknown Fritz Urschitz, creates the “mood” that he surely wanted, something like “this is life, either take it or leave it”, and soberly points out the relationships between the different characters, their love and her pain, and the joy of motherhood. But it’s all too light, there’s little room for genuinely genuine emotions.