Princess

Josef would go to the ends of the earth for his little princess, Nina, his niece. He even tries to get away from alcohol, but he only finally quits when his sister cuts off every contact after Josef unwittingly hurts Nina. Many years later, Josef is sober and learns that Nina has become a drug addict and a criminal, trapped in a remote Ukrainian prison. Now it's his turn to rescue her.

Four-year-old Nina loves to giggle and play with her uncle Josef in their overgrown garden. Knight and princess, eating cookies, building a tree house. Every time her single mum needs to study or to work, she looks out for him and is overjoyed when she finds him sober – but many times Josef isn't. For he is one of the small town’s best-known drunkards, a regular on or under the public parc’s bench. Although Nina's mother had always put her brother down, she now slowly opens up to Josef as she recognises Nina's affection for him. The situation flips when Josef accidently hurts the girl. Josef has to move out of the house and loses all contact with Nina. He finally stops drinking.

At his sister's funeral, many years later, he only has one goal, to meet Nina again. He can't believe his ears when he's told that the once sunny girl had followed the wrong path in her teenage years: drug addict, criminal, prisoner. Although her younger brother is still worried about her, the rest of the family has given up on her and decided to ignore her last email which had been sent from a prison in a remote Ukrainian war zone. Josef doesn't hesitate. Only few days later, he is knocking on the prison door and hoping to rescue the little girl who used to be his princess.

Director Peter Luisi (“The Sandman”, “Unlikely Heroes”, “Streaker”) delivers a highly atmospheric drama where beautifully shot sequences and rich emotional moments counterpoint with a storyline tackling addiction and withdrawal. The superb cast includes Matthias Habich (“Downfall“, „The Reader“) Johanna Bantzer (“The Friend”), Fabian Krüger (“The Sandman”), Anne Haug (“The Collini Case”), and Lia Hahne who is the source of some unforgettable moments as a beautiful and bright, but ultimately neglected young girl.