37°: The Large Family: An Adventure

Der Spiegel

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Film-maker Susanne Brand accompanies a large family on their journey to vacation with a farming clan in the Bavarian town of Nußdorf. With six sons of their own, the host family is hardly suffering from a shortage of children. Large families may suffer material shortages, but there are, so to speak, immaterial compensations. The sense of togetherness, of modesty, and of a willingness to lend a hand are greater than in households having only one or even no children. This fact gives us pause, and it has often been the subject of media reportage. This film lets the parents have their say, perhaps too excess, so that viewers find themselves almost coerced into feeling solidarity and sympathy. Brand relies less than she might on visual narrative, devoting too little of the segment to observing interactions between the children. Instead, she returns repeatedly to the parents’ statements. Nonetheless, the results are touching. What does this couple plan to do once all 12 children have left home at long last? “We are hoping for many grandchildren”, the mother answers.

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