Töchter (2014) - full transcript

Agnes, a teacher from the Hessian province, comes to Berlin. She is supposed to identify a dead girl because she could be Lydia, her daughter who had left home. She is not Lydia, but Agnes remains in the city. In her desperate search, she meets a stray woman, who is looking for her nearness. With a strange self-understanding she presses herself into Agnes's life. Is there a connection between Ines and Lydia?


All we found was this student ID.

I already told you that over the phone.

Maybe we'll know more
once we identify the corpse.

You've got to help me. Please!

I'd like to, but we're not
the missing person's department.

There are no clues
to your daughter's whereabouts.

Maybe she's already left town
or was never here.

But her ID.
Why did the dead girl have it?

Stolen, sold, lost. Could be anything.

I'm going to give you some advice.

Go back home.

If your daughter reconsiders,
at least you'll be home.

- Ryschka's waiting.

In five minutes.

Good morning.

I couldn't sleep all night.
I can't stay in this room.

What's wrong with it?

There's this strange humming sound.

Sometimes loud, sometimes quiet.

I just can't sleep.

Maybe it's a ventilation duct.

Your room number please.


Just a moment please.

I'll see what I can do for you.

But I think we're fully booked.

That's what your colleague said
this morning.

There's just no way.

That's very kind. Thank you.

Everything appears to be okay.

May I ask you a favor?

Could you possibly stay
until I've fallen asleep?

I have to get back to the front desk.

Good night.


... two arrests...

Anyone know this girl?

Does anyone happen to know this girl?

No, but that was to be expected.

You can leave a message or letter.

If you're lucky she'll answer.

Thank you.

How are you?

Where do you want to return the car?

Here, I guess.

And what kind of deductible do you want?

I don't want any deductible.

That raises the rental
rate 17 euros per day. Is that okay?

What's normal?

850 euros is standard.

Fine... then I'll take that.

Is it okay if we upgrade you?


An upgrade.
You get a larger car for the same price.

An automatic.

An automatic?

I'll show you the car, okay? This way.

They found Lydia's ID card on a dead girl.

I was supposed to identify her,
but it wasn't Lydia.

Thomas, it wasn't Lydia.

I haven't told anyone yet.
I don't know what to say.

Last Monday I wrote 'die' (sterben)
on the chalkboard.

I'm writing a Heine quote
and want to write 'seek' (streben),

and suddenly it says 'die' (sterben).

The students just laughed.

Lydia's my problem.
Why can't you accept that?

Here you are.
- Thank you.

Are you done with this?

Everything okay?
- Yes, thank you.

Would you like anything else
or can I bring you the bill?

I'd like another glass of red wine.

It's on the house.

No, I can pay for what I drink.

Unfortunately, guests don't normally
linger at the tables and drink.

Believe me,
you're not the only one this annoys.

Does my forehead say:
Talk to me. I'm lonely?


That wasn't very nice. I'm sorry.

It's so slippery here.

Should I call you a cab?

No, it's not necessary.

I'll manage.

It was so nice talking to you.

What do you read on my forehead now?

Take a close look.

Sorry. It's too dark here.

It says...

It says: I needed that.

I'm sorry.

Let me give you a hand.

Are you hurt?

Should I call an ambulance?
Do you need a doctor?

Surely you saw me.
I was driving really slowly.

I don't get it. You must've seen me.

Should I take you to the hospital?
I don't know the area.

I lost my shoe. Bloody hell!

It's all right.

Now tell me where to take you.

You run me over and say: It's all right!

There was a crosswalk.

Or are you drunk?

Can I have one?

Hey, it was red!

Whatcha staring at?

You're eating unusually slowly.

Wrong. I'm not eating slowly.

Everyone else eats too fast.

Lots of illnesses
come from eating too fast.

Stomach cancer, gall stones...

Maceration is everything.

Apparatus digestorius.

The alpha amylases in our saliva
decompose the complex sugar

polio- and oligosaccharides
into individual sugar molecules.

How do you know all this?

Med school.


Never would've guessed, huh?
- No.

Well, it was only two semesters.
Then I threw in the towel.

Why'd you quit?

You fell for it, right?

I could take you home now if you want.

Just tell me where you live.


What do you mean: No?

Don't you have a home?

Then it doesn't matter where you get out.

Sebastianstrasse 27,
if you really want to know.

But sometimes I have to sublet my flat
when I'm broke.

Know of some place for me?

I'm not from around here.

Oh, well.

Are you on holiday here?

I'm outta here in two months.
Get some sun.

I've got some friends in Spain.

They're showing some of my pictures.

For fuckin' tourists.
Can't do anything about it.

Near Almeria.

There's still real hippie colonies
on the beach there.

- Really. I'm not joking!

I've really got friends in Spain.

You're afraid of me, aren't you?

Fess up!

Most people can't admit they're afraid.
You're no exception.

Yet fear is the most important feeling
in the modern age.

Ever read Fear in Capitalism?

No? Well you should.


Ah, something special!

What's the occasion?

A birthday of sorts.

Whose birthday?

Ines: Is that a Spanish name?

No idea.

I don't really like it.

Mathilda: Now that's a nice name!

Ines is the Spanish form of Agnes.
- Really?

And what's your name?
- My name's Agnes.


I'm sorry.

... hope for God.

But if you have the possibility today...

... and now I might be venturing out
onto slippery ice,

or walking a fine line.

... handicapped children...

Quite frankly,
most people don't like me much.

Do you believe in chance?

There is no such thing as chance.

What do you mean?

Why am I sitting here in your car?

Do you know Lydia?

Did she send you?
- What the hell are you talking about?

Nobody sent me.

I'm not from above.
I'm from down here. I came all on my own.

This is nuts.

It's got to stop.

Come on, wake up!

Wake up!


What can I say?

Why didn't you discuss this with me first?

Even if I had, wouldn't Lydia's
disappearance justify such a request?

Why now?

I get it...

No constraints! No risk!

Not in love or in being alone.

You know what's strange
when I hear myself talk?

I feel the same way, too.

I want the same thing as you.

I must be crazy getting involved
with my daughter's violin teacher.


Nice area, huh?

Have you lost your mind?
- It's your birthday present!

Like the colors?

Come on, be happy. It's a present!

This is a rental car!

You know what this will cost?

I wanted to give you
something for your birthday.

Not my birthday...

Forget it.

Know what really pisses me off?

If some big-wig artist signed it,

Polke or Baselitz or Rauch or whoever,

you could probably get 100,000 euros
or more for the damn car!

You call that 'damage'?

I feel like shit. Sorry, I don't feel well.

I want to be alone.
Go back to my hotel and sleep.

Could I maybe
get cleaned up at your place?

I stink.


I feel like crap lots of times, too.

I think that's good. It's normal.

We're supposed to feel great
all the time,

and be ahead of the game.

Our whole concept of humanity
is bullshit.

All that matters
is outdoing everybody else.

Just look at all these shows:

The Miss Birth pageant,

Or Miss Guess or Miss Skilled.

Gotta knock 'em all off the playing field,
or fret about not making the cut!

And if you step
a little bit to the side...

Put on your seatbelt.
- ... shift a little...

That's where it comes from:

Craziness. [German pun]

Just be quiet.

I've got a horrible toothache.

These your shoes?

Towels are in the bathroom.

Get up.
- Knock it off.

I've got a sore throat.

I've gotta run.
I'll be late to my appointment.

You can't stay here.

I'm sick.

Come on. I just need some rest.

It's humiliating losing your child.

You can lose a coat or purse
but not your child.

Sorry. I know it's complicated.
Family is complicated.

If your daughter doesn't want
to be found, it's hopeless.

When parents come to town,
the news spreads fast,

and the kids take off.

Get lost!

Get outta here!

Lohit can receive visitors
once he's settled in.




Just to Frankfurt.

Tomorrow morning.


Fine. Thank you.
That's very kind.



Where were you?
- I had to get out of here.

See some people. I was bored.

I'm not your prisoner, am I?

I brought someone with me.

She had nowhere to go.

She's sleeping in the bathroom.

Hey... turn the light off.

Who is she?
- No idea.

You must know who she is.

She can't stay.

Just for one night.


Beat it! You can't stay.
- You said I can sleep here.

Sorry, she's not going for it.

Damn, where do I go now?

Happy now?

You make me sick.

What's wrong with you?

Can you hear me?

What's wrong?

I wept while I was dreaming

That thou didst buried lie

I woke,

and with my weeping
My cheeks were not yet dry

I wept while I was dreaming

That thou hadst gone from me

I woke,

and still kept weeping
Full long and bitterly

I wept while I was dreaming

That thou didst love me well

I woke,

My tears are flowing still

I got some pizza.

But it must be cold by now.

By the way, some Thomas guy called.


Is that the guy who left you?

What do you mean?

You know:
That thou hadst gone from me

I still kept weeping long and bitterly.


What did you talk about?


He didn't say much.

He just hung up.

Wasn't very friendly of your Thomas.

Listen up!

This is my room, and my telephone,

and my stuff you're rummaging through.

And my clothes you're wearing.
- Should I go naked?

I only snooped around a little bit.

I just wanted to make sure
you're not one of those crazies.

Oh, you're so witty!

Now take off my clothes please.

... and unfortunately in Germany, too.
Since 2009,

... Germany has been mentioned
specifically as a potential target.

How are police and security forces
preparing for...

This 'Flood of tears'.

Who's it from?
- From Heinrich Heine.

Now I get it.

The 'Nighttime Thoughts' of Heinrich Heine
and the German Romantics.


I happened upon the essays
while looking for something to wear.

Thinking of Germany at night
Puts all thoughts of sleep to flight...

That's more my style.


Then you haven't understood
it's more the memories of his mother

that rob him of his sleep,

not the situation in Germany,
like a lot of people think.

For Germany I would not long

if but not for my mother there...


Germany I would not hate so much,
if not but for my mother there as such.

Know what's really strange?

My mother's also a teacher like you.

But for art, not German.

What do you think? Is this providence?

You should stop downing those pills.

They don't help.

I never take such stuff
and I'm never sick.


only when I sleep
in overheated rooms like this.

He's got hands like yours.

So fine and delicate yet strong.

My father was always proud of his hands.

"Kids, my hands are my capital."

Now guess what he does for a living?

Come on, guess!



You've got one more chance.

I don't like such things.

Come on. Pretty please!

I'm not good at such games.



Wait a minute.


And now's she's gotten sick, too.
Don't you get it?

How? Aren't you listening to me?

I told you she's sick
and doesn't want to leave.

being in such a horrible situation.


I'm looking for Ines.

I haven't seen her
for about six months now.

Oh, isn't this Ines' studio?

She said she just had
to sublet it for a while.

Oh, man!


Ines comes and goes as she pleases,

and takes whatever she can get.

I like her.

She's nice.
- Sure.

Why do you think I offered her a job
working for me?

But she couldn't stand it.

She said she had to do her own stuff.

Okay fine, I thought.
So I told her:

You can work here whenever you want.

Which she did from time to time.

But mostly she just slept here.

Thank you, Karl.

She always said she wanted
to be judged by her present,

not by her past.

That's a typical Ines line

for a poetry album.

Do you think she's dangerous?
- Dangerous?


Or only to herself.

You know how I met her?

I'd just dropped off a friend
at the station one night.

On the way back to my car
I noticed her.

I heard a car slam on its brakes

when she was apparently
crossing the street.

But the driver saw her in time
and drove off.

She stepped back onto the sidewalk,

and waited...

until the next car
came around the corner.

She ran towards it.

There was a loud crash,
and she was on the ground.

The car slowed, sped up, then drove off.

I ran over to her,

and helped her get up.

It was obvious she did it on purpose.

I was fascinated by it.

I invited her to dinner.

Later on, she told me

this method works quite well.

And you?

Are you related to her?

I don't think...

... you mentioned your name.

Oh, pardon me.

My name's Wagner.


How should I explain this?

We met by chance.

Pardon me.

Thank you.

You really don't need to help.

I can manage just fine on my own.

What's it like when some guy stays
when you're cleaning?

Must be strange.

Ever done it with any of 'em?

While you were working?

Could be hot if the guy's nice.

So, have you?

Excuse me,
but I'd really rather do this by myself.

For you.

Around me you act like a do-gooder.

Your Lydia's a cute girl.

Hard to believe
you have such a young daughter.

But that's normal for academics, isn't it?

She's your spitting image.

Especially her nose.

She definitely has your nose.

Maybe your daughter cruises
around with strangers, too, huh?

Give me the picture.

Is that how you hit Lydia, too?

No wonder she ran away.

How long's she been gone?

I don't want to talk about it.

Is she dead?

Does your nose still hurt?

I'm sorry. I didn't mean it.
I didn't want to hurt you.

That's no way to act.

That's no way to treat others.
It's so disrespectful.

I can't handle her.

Stop all this:

'That's no way to act.
You can't do that.'

What's with you?

"Sorry I hit you. It's your own fault,
Ines, you little devil."

I've heard that before.

And I'm sure you know who said it.

Don't you?

But Evil Ines transformed into an angel,

an evil angel.

Evil angels don't want to toe the line.

Or be controlled
by other people's divine ideas.

My mother thought
I was such an evil angel.

She never understood
why I broke off our relationship.

She kept asking:

What's wrong?

And I said: I'm losing my mind.

But why, for God's sake? she asked.

I'm suffering.

We never talked about it again.

I think she thinks I'm sick.

Sick in my head.

I liked that role.

I slowed down, so to speak.

And she thought I'd really gone mad.

I went to see Madsen at the studio.

When I left, I thought:

I've got to. I've got no other choice.

It hurt so much.

I packed my backpack and took off.

But I didn't know where to go.

So I went to the forest,

and tried to live in a cave there.

But it was winter and...

way too cold.

I was climbing around on the rocks.

And then there was this crevice.

I climbed down,

then I just let myself fall.

I was hanging there above this abyss,

and thought:
If I let go now, it's all over.



Mama, play with me!

I've been waiting the whole trip.

Just let me finish this, okay?

That's what you always say.
- Forget it then.

That's what you said before.
- Then forget it.

We could play I spy with my little eye.
- No, five-minute break!

But I want to play something!

We will soon arrive
at Frankfurt Central Station.

We will be in time
for all connecting trains.

English translation and subtitles:
Rick Minnich