Mein Freund aus Faro

Germany 2007, Feature film, 90' | Director, Screenplay Nana Neul | DoP Leah Striker | Sound Matthias Haeb | Music Joerg Follert | Cast Anjorka Strechel, Lucie Hollmann, Manuel Cortez, Florian Panzner, Tilo Prückner

The boyish Mel is the only woman in the Wandel household, even if she doesn't look the part. In fact, the 22-year-old fits into the male den inhabited by her father Willi and her brother Knut pretty well.

During her work at the nearby airport, she often dreams of travelling afar. So it is not surprising that her new colleague Nuno, from Faro in Portugal, should arouse her interest. In the event, she persuades him to act as her (pretend) boyfriend Miguel at Knut's engagement party. Miguel plays the role so well that he is at once taken into the bosom of the family.

However, when Mel, out one night, meets the 14-year-old Jenny who assumes that she is a Portuguese boy, Mel sees her chance and re-invents herself as ... "Miguel". Jenny, who's looking for her first big love, is more than attracted by this boy ? who really is different. Needless to say, the role switch leads to confusion as Jenny's mother complains to Mel's family that her underage daughter is being seduced by a certain Miguel. Nuno is made the whipping boy and Mel has to divulge her "true" identity to Jenny.

"Is that man over there a woman? Or is that woman over there a man? Our socialisation forces us to pass final judgement. Which, in turn, leads us to search for specific features in a person that we cannot immediately classify. The puzzle as to gender is usually solved after a few minutes of observation, by when we have opted for: man or woman. Yet that says very little about our powers of judgment. After all, we often only see that what we want to see."
Nana Neul


NANA NEUL first saw the light of day in Werther, Westphalia, in 1974. From 1995 to 2000, she studied film direction at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and graduated with a Diplom. Since then, she has worked both as film director and author.

Nana Neul
Feature Film
School Film