What You Can See From Here [Was man von hier aus sehen kann] — German Film Festival 2023

Review by Michele E. Hawkins.

Selma (Sophia Vogel) and Heinrich (Golo Euler) are very happily married and living in a quaint village with its fair share of eccentrics.  Their best friend, the optometrist (Florian Kroop), makes for a happy third to the party.  Life is good until Selma dreams of an okapi, which she knows heralds someone’s imminent death.  And when that death comes about, life changes forever.

Years later, Selma (Corinna Harfouch), now a grandmother, takes care of her 11-year-old granddaughter, Luise (Ava Petsch), and often Luise’s best friend Martin (Cosmo Taut).  One night Selma again dreams of an okapi, setting the villagers into a spiral of panic.  One of them is surely going to die.  The villagers rush to mend broken bridges, make confessions, and get their affairs in order,  because it could be them.  And Luise and Martin are as anxious as the rest.

Years later, Luise (Luna Wedler), still deeply affected by the death that indeed followed the okapi dream, lives quietly with her grandmother and works in the village’s bookshop.  Having discovered as a child that she too has a gift, different from her grandmother’s but just as terrible, she avoids almost everyone except lifelong friend the optometrist (Karl Markovics) and some of the townswomen she’s known from birth.  That is, until a stranger appears in town.

Whimsically set in a small village from a time that some will still remember, What You Can See From Here is a story of love, in all its many forms; loyalty; resilience; care for even those we revile; fortitude; and acceptance.  It is a tale that illustrates the power of every person’s special gifts to change our own and others’ lives for better or worse.

Screening at Palace cinemas.

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