How to calm down
Nike, Bilal and Marvin move into a studio and, full of idealism, they start up a workshop with young migrants from Africa. The participant´s inability to understand the point of the improvised workshop calls its sense into question, as do the internal power struggles among the three initiators in their attempts to stand out. When a romantic relationship between Bilal and Nike is in the offing, the unstable balance becomes increasingly shaky. Political commitment is overshadowed by their personal needs, and they lose sight of the original goal.
The tiny studio becomes a venue for scenes involving group dynamics, and stereotypical artist roles are both acted out and deconstructed. The provincial idyll of the locations outside the studio gives the setting a romantic touch, though these scenarios are unable to offer effective alternatives to the studio´s self-contained world. To the artists, the social reality seems as far removed as Africa itself.
Loretta Fahrenholz and Hans-Christian Lotz bring to life the discrepancy between the claim of artistic work´s social relevancy and its actual potential effectiveness as a somnambulistic-pubescent state in which the protagonists are increasingly thrown back upon themselves. The integration of various types of images, film genres, narrative forms and manners of staging into a loose narrative framework turns How to calm down into a kaleidoscopically reflexive film. An equally diversified and aesthetic portrait of a generation of young artists is created, their political and social interest is canceled out by constant self-reflection within the context of art.
Translation: Steve Wilder