Noa (Neta Riskin), in her early 30s, feels out of her element. An Israeli who has lived in Berlin for years, she’s assimilated enough to study linguistics at the graduate level. But her thesis project – a dictionary of untranslatable words – is rejected for being too vague, her relationship with her trombonist boyfriend has stalled, and Berlin is just plain cold. On a whim, Noa hightails it back to Israel and the welcoming embrace of her family. At least that’s her fantasy. But once there, she reverts to behaving like a teenager. Her mom nags, she squabbles with her sister, her dad’s as apathetic as ever. Worst of all, her beloved granny is gravely ill. Noa’s sympathetic German boyfriend Jörg (Golo Euler) suddenly shows up, making things awkward, to say the least. It takes wise Granny to remind Noa of what’s important in life.
A prize-winner in Germany and the Czech Republic, Anywhere Else is a funny, warm-hearted portrait of a woman caught up in a dilemma which occupies many educated young people in our world of mobile opportunity. They can choose from many places in the world to live and work, though some elements of their previous lives will never translate to their current ones. Which of these places do they call home? Does it matter anymore? This film suggests you can’t escape yourself by running away, since home is where the heart is.
Director Ester Amrami drew on her own experiences in making this, her first feature film. Born in 1979 in Kfar Saba, Israel, she’s been in Berlin since 2003, one of many creative young Israelis now making the move to the German capital. Ester started studying directing at the Konrad Wolf University of Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg in 2005. Her first short film Berlin Diary won the Goethe Institute’s “Gestures of Reconciliation” competition.
Published on KinoCritics website.