The mother of Schwester Ines didn’t quite suffocate me in my sleep (but it was close)

If Christiane Lilge, the director of “Schwester Ines,” [Sister Ines] wanted to explode my brain and the brain of everyone attempting to slog through German shorts night at the Molodist film festival, I think she came pretty close. Closer than any other director featured. This was one of those experimental horror films that make Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother look like something out of “The Brady Bunch.” I think I spent the best portion of this movie with my face buried on someone else’s shoulder, yelling things like “holyJesusconventionmakeitstop,” and I like horror movies, and consider yelling in theaters to be dreadfully rude and amateurish. The interesting thing is, there’s no actual violence. The brain-busting terror is completely centered on and in the female body.

“OK, you can look now,” dude would say. “OH NO WAIT HOLY SHIT DON’T.” I noticed I wasn’t the only one following his directions. For a short film, it went on forever. Through the general haze, I wondered if you could make the argument that “Schwester Ines” is a misogynist picture. I don’t think you can, really. It’s damn effective, though, and it captures the anxiety surrounding gestation and birth and the ties between a child and her mother, and then it makes you want to vomit out of fear on top of everything else. You’re going to say that anxieties about the female body in particular are kind of an old theme, but there’s something about the way they’re executed here – the transformation of the muted pink walls of the strange OBGYN clinic, combined with the breathy female voice on the intercom oozing fake concern, is startlingly well done – that’s impressive enough to override all that.

Last night was an interesting night in general – I could justify the way “Schwester Ines” got to me via the interestingness, but that would rob Lilge of credit – so I guess you can just say that Halloween was duly and properly celebrated, finally. I haven’t had a proper Halloween in years. I kind of feel like the spirits were getting vengeful there for a while – not getting their due and all. If DMX has taught me anything it is that “It don’t matter if you win or lose, you still gotta pay them dues.” So thanks to everyone who allowed it to happen. And thank you greatly for the wine.

Stopped at a red light at 4 a.m. for conscience’s sake, the taxi driver turned to us and said, “look, snowflakes.” And there they were, in the glow of the headlights. And no, Velen, I didn’t have nightmares after all.

9 thoughts on “The mother of Schwester Ines didn’t quite suffocate me in my sleep (but it was close)

  1. After you refused my friend request on Facebook and have not picked up your phone, I have no choice but to bring this conversation here. Something tells me you’ll act like the coward and delete this comment but I need to clear up a few things just so you don’t get ahead of yourself.

    1. Disparaging of so-called sex tourists, most of whom are only men who are bringing a little stability into the fucked up lives of women in your fucked up country, is a symptom of your own raging insecurities. gET some help for that.

    2. You are not up to the standard of most Ukrainian women your age. Sure you are pretty, but pretty doesn’t do the trick here. No expat man in his right mind would get involved with you (I guess I know a few not in their right mind); lack of attention must burn.

    3. You caught my attention because of intellect. I admit that smart women have something about them. I even admit that you are obviously better educated. None of that cancels out the essential fact that you are a rude snob. I suspect that any man that went to a public university is completely beneath you, or so you would like to act, even though we both know that this is not actually reality.

    4. It feels strange that you and I have mutual friends. Maybe they are more tolerant than I ever will be.

    5. It’s polite to respond to a friendly Facebook friend request with an explanation.

    6. If you don’t want to hear about what the expat community here is saying about you and your little indiscretions, the truth must be a bitch. Enjoy the silence.

    7. Enjoy whatever abusive, alcoholic, permanently damaged and perpetually broke Ukrainian man you eventually end up dating until you realize you can’t handle this country anyway and go back to America with your tail between your nice legs.

    8. Bye. Don’t bother calling or messaging after you read this message.

  2. Darling,

    You are a creepy piece of shit. This much is facially obvious from your comment. And the fact is, creepy shittitude is even more obvious in person than on the net. Therefore, when Natalia met you, she probably concluded that you are, in fact, a creepy piece of shit.

    This is why she ignored you. It is inconvenient to have creepy shit in your life. It sneaks onto your shoelaces when you least expect it and is remarkably hard to wash out.

    In response to the substance of your creepy shit:

    1. Sex tourists do not bring stability to anyone’s lives. All they do is subject desperate women to … creepy shit.

    2. I call bullshit. If you weren’t compulsively jacking off to her, you wouldn’t have felt the need to flop your creepy, shit-stained dick over an unrelated film blog.

    3. If you really like smart women — appeal to their intellect. Treat them as real, live human beings with actual feelings. Or, in the alternative, you could buy a blow-up doll and put a Harvard/UChicago sweater on it.

    4. It is strange that you and Natalia have mutual friends. Clearly not me. And I suggest, for your personal safety, that you never meet me. I did not ask to read your creepy shit. It was not fun. And it made my hands shake. If we had any mutual friends they would tell you this does not bode well.

    5. Get over your entitlement. When someone doesn’t friend you, it’s because they don’t want to talk to you (for whatever reason). Talking to you about why they don’t want to talk to you kind of defeats the purpose. I get the sense your life would be much easier if you could grasp this bit of logic.

    6. I don’t know about everyone else, but I definitely don’t want to hear what you’re saying. About anything. Cf. supra note 4.

    7. Glad to see you aren’t entirely without taste. Legs get such short shrift these days. Enjoy your blow-up doll.

    8. Keep your word on that “bye” bit. I’m stocked up on creepy shit for the year.

  3. It is I that must get a few things straight here:

    Namely, dude, I never gave you my number. The person who gave you my number ended up apologizing to me.

    GTFO and take your entitled bullshit with you.

  4. Because my wife and I spend a lot of time in Eastern Europe, you strike me as a familiar type, Stendhall.

    Allow me to guess: you came to Ukraine, at least in part, because you heard how hot and desperate many of the women are. Maybe you are a loser on the inside or maybe your soul is a dark and sad and very empty place, but you simply don’t have much to offer a woman who isn’t desperate. Here you are, exploiting that very desperation. It doesn’t matter how you reel them in; whether it is your foreign status, your superior income, or the simple ability to pretend to care at an opportune moment, it works. But something is still missing.

    Then you meet a woman who is unusual; she is lovely, clever, well-read and sensitive and actually profound, and she has probably already accomplished something for herself and has a life outside of men, and that… troubles you. As much as you would like to be with her, your screaming insecurities get in the way of it. This hurts you in a way you can’t begin to understand, because understanding would result in admitting what a complete piece of shit you secretly are.

    What do men like you do in this situation? The ones that are more socially adjusted would probably try to seduce this a woman before trampling all over her, others that are not so socially adjusted result to stalking and insults, plus vague insinuations (“little indiscretions” made me laugh). I suppose that you are in the latter group. In either case, you seem almost hopeless. Stop taking it out on the female population.

    P.S. “Schwester Ines” sounds interesting, but most likely not my cup of tea after all.

  5. Yikes, with Americans like Stendhall lurking in the Ukraine, after sleazy stalkers in Amman, you must wonder if there IS a safe place around?

    thinking of you. careful to live at your value-level.

  6. Natalia, congratulations – you seem to have excellent judgment if you are ignoring this person’s ‘friend’ request, as well as writing your engaging blog topics.

    I’d have done exactly the same thing.

    There’s a word for people like Stendhall, it’s called Pity.

    Schwester Ines is a brilliant short, artfully produced & deserves much more respect than a sexist, xeno/gynophobic after comment.

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