Berlin, when the winters were still cold. Sophia (a “Berliner”) and Nicola (Italian) are in their bedroom looking at each other. Nicola tells his girlfriend what happened in the cinema.
After watching a film with friends, he forgets his scarf inside the cinema. He immediately goes back to get it, but the doors are already closed. Nicola tries to convince the cinema manager Mr. Özgür (German with Turkish migration background) that it’s too cold outside to go back home without his scarf, but the cinema has very strict security rules: no one is allowed inside after the centralized light system has been switched off and the doors have been locked. Nicola tries to convince Mr. Özgür to open, but the cinema manager firmly sticks to the rules. There is no way out of the conflict: Nicola vs. the mighty German “Nein”. Of course Nicola loses! Freezing his neck off, he has to go home without his scarf and has to return the next day to collect it.
While Sophia starts making fun of her boyfriend’s incapacity to adapt to the hostile nordic environment, Nicola enters a dangerous mental loop and he is troubled by deep philosophical questions. Which were the real reasons behind Mr. Özgür’s stubborn behavior? Was it mere grumpiness? A lack of empathy towards the “foreigner”? Or did he maybe want to demonstrate, with a meticulous compliance with the rules, his being even more German than the Germans? Moreover, should safety regulations really be more important than a simple but human gesture: returning a scarf to a person who feels cold? And last but not least: will he ever regain his scarf?
Based on a true story, DER SCHAL is a 25 min. long European comedy about the everyday reality of different cultures living together in metropole like Berlin.
With a simple based-on-true-events story-plot , the idea is to portray the new pluricultural social reality which can be found today in some area of Europe, especially in big cities. The “thinning” of boarders have favourite the movement throughout the Union: individuals, friends, families, couples with different cultural background live together, speak different languages, creating de facto a sort of meta-national society.
It is the case of Sophia and Nicola, the protagonists of the film. They are a couple who perceive itself as European more than a German-Italian one and on top of their mother-tongues they communicate in European english, the only truly neutral territory between the two.
But this process of “shifting of identity” and “crossing the borders” is not without obstacles. Difference in culture are still evident, and can bring to frictions, clashes or misunderstandings. Residuals of the old national-cultur-based-paradigma are still strong and suddenly re-emerge in those moments in which one has difficulties in understanding “the other”.
DER SCHAL is a dramatic, humorous and happy comedy which underlie the meaning of small gestures. With this film I want to show how important it is to admit one own mistakes and sometimes simply take life with a touch of irony and laugh about oneself and : only if we remain open and we are willing to see the world from the perspective of others, we can keep alive our hope to live in a good society.
DER SCHAL is produced by Controcorrentefilms by Laura Weber. The project has been selected at the Short Comedy Pitch program of Torino Short Film Market 2020 and won the Short Comedy Award Prize granted by IDM Südtirol /Alto Adige Film Commission.