By my side

Breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. “Is it starting?” a young man’s voice asks from off camera over Jana’s (Chiara Kahn) shoulder. However, the opening scene in Eric M. Weglehner’s À mes côtés dashes all hopes and instead marks not just one ending, but two. The fact that he is at her side when the medically induced abortion process begins causes Aaron (Phillipp Laabmayr) to distance himself from his relationship to Jana. His stay in Paris was planned to be only temporary anyway.The exchange visit is ending; he will return home. He tries to avoid a final meeting with Jana: he has lost his wallet and has to go look for it. Jana doesn't want to lose him and insists on coming with him. Diffuse feelings lead into an afternoon of concretized hours.
It almost feels wrong to mention that Jana is in a wheelchair, and that Aaron is not. Wrong, because the film neither makes an issue out of this nor derives an agenda from it. Dominik Mayer’s excellent camera work also leaves no doubt about this. You can also feel just how necessary it is that certain things not be said as a matter of course in the scenes in which Jana and Aaron spend most of the film almost in silence, wandering through Paris, revisiting Aaron’s local tour from the previous night. The mental/emotional load presses upon each of them, rendering both of them nearly speechless.It would be easier to bear if it were shared, but Aaron is too self-involved. Two young people, actually the same age, but decades apart in terms of development – the same impression as the one given of the protagonists in Weglehner’s equally subtle Sekt (2020). 
Forgiveness is an inside job, they say. Jana demonstrates this. Her empathetic maturity allows her to overcome an experience that Aaron doesn’t even seem capable of fully feeling. The fact that she no longer inflicts his injury on herself is the reward for her efforts. There is a lot of space on her side. (Alexandra Zawia)

Translation by John Wojtowicz 

An episode on the streets of Paris. Jana was pregnant by Aaron; the abortion took its toll on her. Now it’s a matter of organizing the future. A meeting with Aaron is meant to help. But for the time being, he makes no attempt to get involved in her situation. (Diagonale catalog 2024)

Orig. Title
À mes côtés
24 min
Short fiction
Orig. Language
German, English
Filmstill (Image)
Filmstill (Image)
Filmstill (Image)
Eric M. Weglehner
Phillipp Laabmayr, Eric M. Weglehner, Chiara Kahn
Dominik Mayer
Patrick Kostya
Matthias Edelmann
Sound Design
Martin Rohrmoser
Chiara Kahn, Benicia Makengele, Phillipp Laabmayr
Lena Könighofer
Art Direction
Anna Reichmayr
Anna Reichmayr
Executive Producer
Lena Zechner, Eric M. Weglehner
Supported by
Stadt Wien, Land Oberösterreich, Land Salzburg, Bezirk Mariahilf
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Dolby 5.1.
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Saarbrücken - Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films