a film by Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss



Picture this: on the side of the road, at the edge of the forest, mere steps from the speeding cars, the four-wheeled shelters are motionless, stationary. It is night-time, and neon letters and Christmas lights flash intermittently. Inside, women are waiting for someone to stop, alone. Some are lying on a bed, others are just bored, displaying themselves on the passenger seat.

On the remote countryside roads of Germany, the “mobile homes of love” serviced by newly arrived East European or African women are aplenty. We meet a few of them. One is putting make-up on, another is petting a dog, a third one is smoking. One thing binds them together: the wait. Take Milena and Rita, for instance, respectively from Bulgaria and Nigeria. They wait to be able to put money aside, to find the courage to open up to a friend, to reunite with a brother, to find some peace. Their lives are in stasis, trapped in a vehicle that will not start, crushed by the vices of their clients, the abuse, the protectors, the fear of being beaten – perhaps even killed –, but also by the need to earn money, and the fear to lead a normal life, far from the only role they were ever given.

And then there is Uschi, a time-worn woman who smokes too much. Surrounded by her dogs, sporting extravagant clothes, she is the one who rents the mobile homes to the girls. Profiteer? Confidante? Or maybe she is a warning, a sign of how the girls will end up if they watch time go by like the cars, while others take decisions for them.

Chiara Fanetti

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