‘Usedom: A Clear View of the Sea’ Review: Come In, the Water’s Fine
Accompanied by a cheerful fanfare and snoozy narration, the documentary “Usedom: A Clear View of the Sea” lingers on the titular woodland island, a popular vacation spot on the Baltic Sea.
Shaping personal and geographic history into spoonfuls of sunshine, director Heinz Brinkmann creates a charming and quirky guide to his native island. The east side might belong to Poland and the west to Germany, but the dedicated locals have replaced a difficult past with an atmosphere of unity and tolerance. And while more than one laments the shaving of historic seaside architecture after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a gigantic Radisson rising towards completion offers a powerful economic rebuttal.
Swarming waterfronts and a thriving spa culture support it, as do many interviewees, an eclectic and above all entertaining group. A satisfied nudist (“This is paradise”) baked on the beach, knee politely cocked; the frequent traveler who owns a chic hotel is enthusiastic about the pleasures of luxury accommodation and afternoon tea, occasionally displaying a vulpine smile; an organic farmer cheerfully walks towards the camera, his herd of golden cows galloping behind.
A sort of sequel to Brinkmann’s 1992 film of the same name, “Usedom” goes back to the previous work to compare ratings. However, when winter arrives and the nudists are gone, the place that one local calls “an island of the displaced” and that others have called, less poetically, “the Berlin bathtub” still resists. easy assessment.
Not to an enthusiastic real estate developer. “Usedom is sexy,” he insists. “The use is cool. I wouldn’t dream of disagreeing.
Usedom: a clear view of the sea
Unclassified. In German, with subtitles. Duration: 1 hour 35 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or purchase on Apple TV, Vudu, and other streaming services.
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