by FREDA BRUCE LOCKHART
AMONG the multitudinous
awards with which Yesterday Girl ("X." Paris-Pullman) arrives bedecked like a champion show-beast, one is the 0.C.I.C. (International Catholic Film Office) special jury award from Venice last year. Certainly Alexander Kluge's first feature film is awardworthy: the first German film I remember since the war to show welcome signs of freshness and originality.
The elements of the story are not exactly unexpected. They might almost seem banal, they must be such a basic German experience. The young heroine (Alexandra Kluge) arrives from East Germany into West where, after all the horrors we don't see, she drifts from one misfortune, one falseor true —accusation, one petty exploitation to another.
What is new and extraor dinary is the way the film looks the situation straight in the eye, as it were. There is no self-pity in the telling of the heroine's misfortune's: rather a sense that these were brought about partly by the disastrous times but partly by her own way of dealing with each unpropitious circumstance as it turns up.
Not that the telling of the story is exactly straightforward. We meet the girl being discharged from prison. She sets about recounting to the interviewer the stages by which she arrived there.
flashback would be a crude term for the detachment of the self examination and the