Dora is a German drama by Swiss director Stina Werenfels, from Lukas Bärfus’ play, starring Victoria Schulz, Jenny Schily (Sleeping Sickness, The Legend of Rita) and Lars Eidinger (Clouds of Sils Maria)

A family must face the sexual awakening of their 18 year old daughter who is mentally disabled.

A challenging film with a difficult subject, Dora raises sensitive and moral question about the possibilities of liberty and choices for a disabled person, the difficulties for the family to let go and trust at the risk of ensuing tragedies of the real world. In some ways It’s a manifesto for a right to desire. And Dora’s relation to the world is treated as a not so different experience from what we all do as supposedly normal people, the discovery, the deceptions, the mistakes, the little dramas…

A film with depth and tenderness it succeeds with its overall treatment and ambiance, with effective cinematography and a proper low profile use of music, to provide strong emotional moments

It is relying on writing shortcuts a bit with some fast change in pacing and mood and it is at times weak with the depiction of the male characters (the young guy is a bit unidimensional) compared to the main acting of the two women, Schulz and Schily, playing mother and daughter, which is very strong.

Not dark, not light, just true, Dora can also be shocking at times (But I won’t spoil anything here).

A rarity regarding its take on the subject, a beautiful film.

(For International readers you should be able to find it easily. For Montrealers, it’s playing at Cinema Du Parc on Thursday evening as part of the German Series sponsored by Goethe Institute).