NimmerMeer (also known as Nevermore) is a German film released in 2006 by the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and Frisbeefilms. While effectively being a coming of age movie (the lead character is “A tiny little boy named Jonas. Not a hero that’d slay dragons or fight against giants, a poor boy, who learnt how to become a man whilst staying a child”).
NimmerMeer is at the same time a fairytale with a moral and an intriguing storyline which enchants the viewer to such an extent that the definition of reality becomes an abstract term and he (the viewer) effectively follows along with the young lead as he learns more and more about himself and the environment that surrounds him.
The storyline can be seen as both simple and complicated depending on the familiarity of the audience with the European cinema. Jonas (Leonard Proxauf) is a young boy who lives with his elderly father, Helge (Rolf Becker), in a hut by the sea somewhere by the North Sea coast (The film’s location is actually in Denmark – which is one of the reasons why many people notice a similarity between NimmerMeer and Pelle Erobreren ). Although they don’t own a lot, they live a happy life – deeply caring about each other. Important to the old fisherman is his status as a respectable person in the society of the small village nearby.
One stormy night, Helge sets out to fulfill an old mysterious dream: To bring back “the silver of the heavens” – a large catch for his starving son – but he never returns. Jonas is desperate and saddened, and is taken by the church pastor into his house. The cold-hearted pastor demands complete submission. His principles are discipline, work and respect and his whole personality is the antithesis of that of his loving father. The boy’s grief grows stronger as each day passes …
It is only when he meets a dwarf from a traveling circus troupe that Jonas begins to regain the ability to smile.
The entire cast of NimmerMeer delivered an outstanding performance, especially the young lead, Leonard Proxauf. His acting skills contributed greatly to the overall impact of the film — his emotions and feelings effectively transferred from the screen to the viewer. The musical score, combined with the visuals, create a melancholic atmosphere so unique and captivating that the viewer can’t help but get caught up in the film and the events in it as they happen.
NimmerMeer is a beautifully shot film. Its cinematography – the panoramic scenes, the lighting and the frequent use of close ups — express the poetic sensibility of the filmmaker, Toke Constantin Hebbeln. Hebbeln paid special attention to detail, so that the reality in front of the camera is imposed in such a unique manner that the end result becomes a feast for the senses.
This is a wonderfully told coming of age fairy tale that can be equally enjoyed by adults and children and is a film that I highly recommend to the readers of theskykid.com. The film won a number of awards, in the year it was released and the following year. Among those awards are the Jury Award for Best Foreign Drama at the Hollywood International Student Film Festival and the Best New Director Promotional Award at the Hof International Film Festival.
If you like this review and/or have seen the film – you may also like to read the exclusive interview that we did the young lead of NimmerMeer : Leonard Proxauf