Women and Work: "Top Girl"

in 64th Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival

by Bettina Schuler

Jacky (Julia Hummer) is a single mother based in Berlin. In the past she was working as an actress in a TV-series, but in lack of engagements she is actually earning her money as a prostitute. Why? She doesn’t know. Maybe it is because for her it’s nothing more than any other professional role, maybe it is because she doesn’t have the stomach to go from casting to casting always being rejected at the end. But with time she realizes that the boundaries between her private and her professional life have dissolved and that the only solution is to change her role and get more influence.

Top Girl or la déformation professionelle is the second part of a trilogy about women and work directed by Tatjana Turanskyj. Julia Hummer, in Germany well-known for her part in Christian Petzold’s Ghosts (Gespenster) plays a modern, independent woman who doesn’t care about social conventions. In fact she is convinced that it is much more degrading to go to castings than to sell her body. But in her face you see the emptiness and loneliness caused by her job and that the selling of intimacy and sex can’t be separated from the emotions of her private life.

Tatjana Turanskyj succeeds in showing how difficult it is for a woman to break out of the social structures that are ruled by men, no matter what profession. She succeeds as well in showing how difficult it is to sell your body but not your pride and dignity.

At the end Jacky finds out that the only solution to get her live back on track is to play a part in this society dominated by men and to accept their rules that include the humiliation of her own sex.

A sad resume for a movie by woman director.

Edited by Lesley Chow