Plot: Fraulein is Andrea Staka's artfully crafted story of the friendship among three women from Yugoslavia. Reza left Belgrade more than 30 years ago to seek a new life in Zurich. Now in her fifties, she has completely detached herself from the past. Unmarried, she owns a cafeteria and maintains an orderly, joyless existence. Mila, a waitress there, is a good-humored Croatian woman who also emigrated decades ago. But unlike Reza, Mila dreams of returning to a house on the Croatian coast. Both of them receive a jolt when Ana, a young, itinerant woman who has fled Sarajevo, breezes into the cafeteria looking for work. Reza hires her but is annoyed by Ana's impulsive and spirited efforts to inject life into the cafeteria. But the acrimony dissipates as Ana begins to thaw Reza's chill.
A Sundance alumnus with her short Hotel Belgrad, Andrea Staka returns with a stirring and mature debut feature. Marked by subtle characterizations and a wonderful contemplative tone, Staka's understanding of Reza and Ana is far too sophisticated to stall on superficial divisions. She's interested in watching them peel away each other's layers, revealing the world of complex emotions running below. Though Reza can't connect to life, she's strangely moved by Ana, while Ana's carefree demeanor belies the
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