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Summer Storm
cast: Robert Stadlober, Kostja Ullmann, Alicja Bachleda-Curus, Jürgen Tonkel, and Tristano Casanova

director: Marco Kreuzpainter

94 minutes (15) 2004
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Parasol Peccadillo DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Tobi (Robert Stadlober) and Alchim (Kostja Ullmann), two German teenagers, have been friends for years and are stars of their local rowing club and are both at a co-ed summer rowing camp. Alchim spends time with his girlfriend Sandra (Miriam Morgenstern), who is on the girls' team. Meanwhile, Anke (Alicja Bachleda-Curus) has fallen for Tobi. Tobi's feelings for his friend have become confused - and the presence of Queerschlog [Queer Stroke], a gay rowing team, has not made life any easier.

Summerstorm (aka: Sommersturm) is a modestly-scaled coming-of-age piece which resolves itself in the highly significant storm of the title. The cast of mostly young actors is good and Marco Kreuzpaintner (in his second feature) has produced a confident, good-looking film, even if he does overdo the handheld camerawork in places. The script develops the story with some sensitivity, though some irresolute characterisation flaws the film and detracts from the impact it might have. The film is rated 15 for its sexual content, but horses need not be frightened: the camera doesn't go below the waist.

Peccadillo's DVD is well transferred in a ratio of 1.78:1, widescreen enhanced, and there's a busy Dolby digital 5.1 soundtrack. Listings for this DVD promise an introduction by the director and an interview with a co-star, but neither were present on the check disc received to review, which contains the feature and nothing else, not even a scene-selection menu.

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