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The Genital Warriors

Comparisons are inevitable
The Genital Warriors / Die Geschlechtskriegerinnen

Matthew O. L. Way's new movie is about some of the most mysterious subjects human beings are confronted with during their lifetimes: love, emotions, revenge and commemoration. The story starts on a park bench at the River Elbe in Hamburg where the two female main characters, Lena and Barbara (Barbara Nüsse and Marlen Diekhoff), meet by chance and discover that they are both ex-girlfriends of Frank Ewington (Peter Franke), the male and third protagonist.

After Barbara and Lena discover that they have both been lovers and victims of, but also slaves to Frank Ewington, they decide to take revenge.

With a magic wand that enables them to take fascinating journeys through space and time, they visit earlier stages of their lives with and without Frank where they are confronted with their own youths and long forgotten emotions – they eventually manage to meet John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Lena and Barbara's trips into their own minds always begin and end at their park bench, which is the steady center between several story lines that show chapters of their pasts in a racy and diverting way. "The Genital Warriors" is in all its parts and sub-stories a fascinating and mesmerizing film, oscillating between love story, thriller and commedia dell'arte, possessing the complexity of Goethe's "Elective Affinities".

Although comparisons seem insufficient for "The Genital Warriors" because it can hardly be categorized, they are sometimes helpful to locate and check a critic's point of view.

Therefore I would say that "The Genital Warriors", with its unique atmosphere, affectionate details and intelligent dialogues that are somewhere between funny and melancholic, could be placed among the works of Aki Kaurismaki, Lars von Trier, Luis Buñuel or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

In any case, Lena, Barbara and Frank become good old friends that the spectator never will forget after leaving the cinema.

Dieter Schweinlin, Berlin/Germany

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