The Girl With Nine Wigs

In "Heute bin ich blond," my defense shields went up when our heroine is told she has a tumor on the pleura that encases her lung. This was exactly what my (now deceased) son was told in 1999, so I had a pretty good idea what lay ahead.

This German/Belgian entry (English captions) to the 2013 Seattle Inter- national Film Festival was engaging, entertaining and reasonably true to life. It should be: This story is based on blogs posted by Sophie van der Stap during her treatment for a rare form of cancer from which only 15% of the patients survive. Screenwriter Kati Eyssen prepared this story for Marc Rothemund's capable direction.

These actors brought the characters to life:
  • Lisa Tomaschewsky is Sophie (or Lydia, or Sara, or Sue, etc., it depends on which wig she's wearing), a lovely carefree young woman ready to take the world by storm until she sees a doctor about a persistent cough.
  • Karoline Teska is Annabel who takes her friend to a wig shop when they realize she is going to lose all of her gorgeous hair. She adds that this will also save her the expense of a Brazilian hair removal treatment.
  • David Rott is Rob, a good friend who is there when she needs him.
  • Alice Dwyer is our heroine's mother, herself a breast cancer survivor. This Tiger Mom is matter of fact and highly organized. She marches into the hospital with a box of personal effects and has her daughter moved in before anyone can blink.
  • Jasmin Gerat is Chantal, the breast cancer victim who befriends our gal during chemo.
I enjoyed the way the wig shop and the friends got with the idea of various wigs. They even told her when to change wigs because they couldn't get along with that one! Our gal makes the observation that everyone tells her she will live for another 100 years, then treats her like she'll be dead in a week!

Yes, I recognized the treatments, but wasn't traumatized by them. This is an upbeat, satisfying film.
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Here is a sample from SIFF:
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