Cocoon (Kokon) – a delicate and vibrant portrait of youth


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cocoon arrives in selected cinemas and on-demand from the 11th of December.

As the summer sun beats down on Berlin, Director Leonie Krippendorff explores the uncontrollable heat of adolescence with a delicate yet vibrant portrait of youth that pulses with the trepidation of teenage life. Here, one summer, changes the rules, place and sense of belonging surrounding two sisters as they emerge from the cocoon of adolescence and the safe bubble of childhood.

Fourteen-year-old Nora (Lena Urzendowsky) looks to her older sister Jule (Lena Klenke) for confidence and respect, her wants and desires held hostage by a need for peer acceptance as her sister inducts her into her alcohol-fuelled social circle. Meanwhile, Nora and Jule’s mother spends her days propping up a local bar, leaving the girls to fend for themselves until she needs their care or attention. However, when a new girl arrives at school, Romy (Jella Haase), Nora finds herself suddenly engulfed by new feelings that baffle, excite and scare her. While at the same time, her body is rapidly changing as the cocoon of girlhood gives way to womanhood. But as Nora’s connection to Romy grows, her relationship with Jule fades, causing sisterly concern. But can Romy offer Nora more than just a sexual awakening in a summer where desire meets change in an explosion of sexuality and love?

Cocoon shines as brightly as the sun beating down on Berlin, with Krippendorff beautifully reflecting the urgency of teenage transformation. Here we find a raw honesty in the journey we take alongside Nora and Jule that speaks directly to the turbulent transition into adult life. However, it is Nora’s coming out journey that finds an exquisite and tender voice in Cocoon. Here the fear and apprehension of emerging sexuality are laced with moments of pure joy, excitement and freedom echoing Show Me Love and Blue is the Warmest Colour in tone.

The cinematography of Martin Neumeyer bathes each scene in the soft glow of summer, the warmth of hope and rebirth surrounded by the colder tones of inner-city life. But, it is within the delicate and bold direction of Leonie Krippendorff that Cocoon truly excels, her exploration of youth culture, multiculturalism and sexuality timeless yet fresh in a movie that beats with the energy, disappointment and vitality of youth.

Director: Leonie Krippendorff

Cast: Lena UrzendowskyJella HaaseLena Klenke, Elina Vildanova  


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