I Buddy's Song ( 12) Roger Daltrey co-produces and co-stars with (‘hesney IIawkes in this British musical comedy-drama about a smalltime crook trying to go straight as manager for his budding rockstar son. Michael Elphick also stars. See review. ()deons. some (‘annons and UCI Edinburgh from Fri 8.

I Cold Justice ( 15) And. as ifto prove that ageing rockstars never die. Roger Daltrey also appears in this new character drama written and directed by Tery Green. Dennis Waterman stars as a mysterious English priest who appears in Chicago and befriends a group of social outcasts. only to have them turn on him. Glasgow and Edinburgh Odeons from Fri 8.

I Dances With Wolves ( 12) Kevin Costner‘s auspicious debut as director is set on the Wild Western frontier during the American Civil War. He also co-produces and stars as a Union officer who learns to love the Sioux and finds himself torn between two concepts of honour. Nominated for twelve Oscars. See feature. Cannons and UCIs from Fri 8.

I Fear ( 18) Scary biscuits in Rockne S. ()‘Bannon‘s low-budget debut. Ally Sheedy stars as a psychic helping the police with their inquiries. She foresees early retirement. but on her last case fails to predict that the other guy‘s psychic too. See review. Glasgow Cannon Sauchiehall Street and Edinburgh UCI from Fri 8.

I Frankenstein Unbound (l8) Veteran horror man Roger Corman‘s first feature in twenty years starsJohn Hurt and Michael llutchence of INXS. The special effects are fun. and there‘s no shortage of humour. but it‘s all disappointingly unoriginal. Edinburgh UCI from Fri 15.

IThe Godlatherlll(15) Coppola‘s third and final epic on the clan (‘orleone draws on his own family feelings (not least in the casting department) and centres on the attempts by Don Michael (Al Pacino) to reconcile and pacify the warring factions of his dynasty. Also starring Andy Garcia. See feature. Wide release from Fri 8.




A new German film The Nasty Girl tackles the true story of a schoolgirl essay writer whose investigation into her hometown’s shady past kicks up all sorts of acrimony and resentment. Andrew Pulver talks to Anja Rosmus, the woman at the centre of the controversy, and finds her steadfastly unrepentant at raising the dust on the hypocrisy of years gone by

Michael Verhoeven's new film The Nasty Girl finds him on familiar territory. conducting an excursion into the post war legacy of Germany‘s Nazi past. While his previous offering, The White Rose, revealed the unrevoked treason charges against wartime anti-Nazis, this latest brings to the screen a film version of the experiences of Anja Rosmus. whose singleminded determination to exhume skeletons buried in the German social cupboard has brought her a bitter and continuing conflict with her neighbours.

The facts are easily comprehensible: Rosmus. a model pupil and daughter of the school principal in the Bavarian town of Passau began research for an essay-competition on the subject of ‘My Home Town In The Third Reich‘. When she began to probe behind the wall ofsilence that met

her first enquiries she faced abuse, lawsuits and physical attacks in the course of exposing the deceptions and false claims of the town‘s most solid citizens.

The film makers have continued on a path intended to carefully balance the particularities of Rosmus‘ story with the desire to create an easily accessible contemporary parable on the state ofGermany. On the end of a telephone line from Dublin, where she‘s visiting the local Film Festival, Rosmus herselfexplains that ‘The film is very close to my situation the nasty girl is really me, my family, my town. What is different is that Michael erased the worst of the cruelties, so that the population in other areas should not have the opportunity to claim that it was just a matter ofone crazy town in the South and wasn’t a true picture of the rest of the country. He wanted to show atypical German situation.‘

The Nasty Girl follows, with a sure comic touch, the progress of Rosmus’ adolescence, and her confrontation with the hypocrisy of the town‘s history. Not a great deal is offered in terms ofan detailed analysis of past events however, and the activities of neo-Nazis, although their presence is obvious, is made only peripheral, but it‘s Rosmus’ personal journey from model, obedient citizen to radical, disruptive investigator, which is the real subject ofthe film: ‘You get much more involved ifyou see the life ofone Jewish family, if you see the tears in the eyes of one victim, instead of6 million. I think its really the same in the movie to show what is going on through a little child, about all the consequences that we couldn’t imagine. The fact that an

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Lena‘Stolzeand Robert Giggenbach in The Nasty Girl


ordinary school-pupil has provoked this reaction is very powerful, and it is more possible for the audience to identify with such an ordinary person than with, for instance, a big politician. We learn that this is the story ofone person, but it asks the viewer whether they wouldn‘t do the same ifplaced in the same situation.‘ Verhoeven mixes colour and black and white sequences in a jaunty, engaging delivery; the action is set against a series ofclever, stylized backdrops that often clash pointedly with the more personal, domestic scenes. But what is clear is the intention to make the film stand as an instrument of instruction, to extend and expand the work that Rosmus has undertaken. ‘The movie has not changed me much: for ten years I have been doing this. One main difference is that before I could reach people with my essays, my articles, my books - now there are millions who have seen the film. If you can reach these people on the street. . . Iwant this dimension.‘ Rosmus' refusal to be silenced can only be applauded: she has refused to leave Passau despite the increasingly overt hostility she encounters: ‘In my state I am hated more than before, in my city I am more attacked than before. I stay here because our minorities have no one to speak up for them. Anyway, I know wherever I would go I would feel problems in the new environment, I would speak out for other groups. I would not keep silent.‘ The Nasty Girl (PG) plays Glasgow Film Theatre from Tue 19 to Sat 23 March and Edinburgh Filmhouse from Sun 24 March to Tue2 April. See film listings for further details


18 The List 8—21 March 1991