Searching Eva

Finding Your Identity In The Modern World

by Liselotte Vanophem

7

THE QUICK SELL
Eva is in her early twenties and oscillates between her "real" life as an anarchic vagabond, social marginal figure and "feminist" sex worker and the life of her Internet persona, iconised as the leading figure of the authentic.

DIRECTED BY
Pia Hellenthal

WRITTEN BY
Pia Hellenthal, Giorgia Malatrasi

Running Time:
1h 25min

 
 

There are times in our lives that are darker than others. It might be because you lost someone, you can’t find your dream job, a relationship just ended or you just don’t feel it.

You might think that you have the biggest problems on the planet and the worst life compare to others. The grass is always greener on the other side.

However, we’re pretty sure that your life is better even during those moments than Eva’s life. Her difficult, rough and ruthless life is being told in the unique and eccentric “Searching for Eva” from director Pia Hellenthal (“Palim Palim” (Short), “Ganoven” (Short)). Sadly, just like the girl itself, this documentary is a little bit lost.

Meet Eva Collé, a 25-year-old woman living in Berlin. She seems like any other young woman. Having the time of her life with friends, being loved by everyone and just spending time the way she wants.

However, it doesn’t take long before you see her darker side and the cracks in her life. At a young age, she was repressed by her father and other men and there was even sexual abuse.

Her mother didn’t stand up for her daughter as she was a heroin addict. Coming from an extremely broken familiar, it’s not unexpected that Eva herself is taking the rough path as she makes her money as a sex worker and nude model.

Despite not having the most glamorous lifestyle or luxury, she wants to share her story with everyone, she decides to launch an online diary in which she can capture all her feelings, experiences and thoughts.

Still looking for her own identity (just like any of us), she’s torn apart between her “real” life as a vagabond, an oddity and “feminist” sex worker and the life of an icon, her authentic and popular internet persona.

Are you ready to be taken on a wild and intense rollercoaster with both highs and lows?

Of course, you’re! Sadly, that rollercoaster has a false start. While you already know that the topic itself will be an intriguing, immensely social important and unique one, the film doesn’t seem to be all of that at the beginning.

At first, the combination of visual scenes and dark scenes with only text makes it very hard to hear Eva her story and to get into the film. The abrupt transitions between scenes really contribute to that feeling as they’re happening every five seconds.

The emotions, the connection between Eva and the audience and the intensity of the story could have been projected onto the audience much better if the scenes at the beginning were a little bit longer. However, this “problem” is being solved toward the middle of the documentary.

The longer the story gets, the less troublesome the sudden change of scenes become. The amount of them decreased and you just get used to it throughout the film.

Because of that, the emotional and socially relevant story of Eva is coming through more and more which makes from this movie a fascinating one.

While we might not be in the same position as Eva as the victim of physical abuse, the outsider of the society or the sex worker, we feel connected on some level.

Even if she’s a grown up, she’s still looking for her own identity and place in the world and pretty sure everyone has ever had that feeling. Eva even asks how we call ourselves these days.

We don’t only get to know the extremely difficult life Eva has led but also the lives of people living in her neighbourhood. It turns out that a woman closeby had committed suicide because of a leaked sex tape, other girls being raped and some people missing for a long time.

Despite the fact this film starts in the late ’90, these topics sound contemporary for the current society especially with the rise of social media. Not a single day passes by without a cruel story about abuse, a missing person or suicide. This documentary really makes you think.

So far there’s no UK release date for “Searching Eva” so if you want to see this fascinating documentary, then you should head to the Fragments Festival in London on the 11th of June. You will not only be able to take part in a Q&A with Eva herself, but you will also see an eclectic, fine and socially relevant documentary about a woman still searching for herself.

 

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