Mind the Gap

1997, 35mm, Color, 88 min.
U.S. Premiere

Director: Elfi Mikesch
Producer: Annedore V. Dunlop
Cinematographer: Elfi Mikesch
Editor: Heide Breitel
Screenwriter: Elfi Mikesch
Music: Laszlo Waszlavik, Ronald Steckel

Torsten Ricardo Engelholz, a 30-year-old "mentally disabled" man who grew up in a suburb of Berlin, tell us about his childhood locked away in a closet in his parent's home and later in a psychiatric ward. His story is one of horror and longing. But now he is a talented painter, an actor in Berlin's Thickwa Theater, and a manic subway enthusiast who spends all his free time riding trains. "When we die, we all go underground," he says. "When we travel on the subway, we're all under the earth too. But we're not dead. We live on. We're just traveling on the subway." Trains provide Torsten with a sense of hope, a constant flow of perception. "I could marry the train. It's always faithful. Never let's you down. The underground always arrives." He travels to foreign cities like Paris and Budapest in search of the things he never had as a child: love and a sense of self. Elfi Mikesch's touching portrait of Torsten Engelholz is a reminder of how much we take for granted in everday life, from a man who was deprived of it for so long.