All Russians Love Birch Trees
Pola Beck (*1982) was born in Berlin in 1982. Raised by a theatre and film family, she developed an early interest in art, photography and the moving image. After various directing internships, she spent a year at the European Film College in Denmark in 2003.
From 2005-2011, she studied Directing at the HFF 'Konrad Wolf' film school. Her graduation and first feature film Am Himmel der Tag (Breaking Horizons, Germany 2012) won the 'Golden Eye' at Zurich Film Festival in 2012 followed by numerous awards.
She is currently developing new TV & Cinema projects and teaches at the Transform Drama School in Berlin.
MASHA (27) is wild and loud, unapologetic and quick-witted, but deep in her heart she is flighty and directionless. The aspiring translator speaks five languages fluently. Her multicultural group of friends retaliate against the every-day racism they encounter in Germany with wit and sardonic humour. However, Masha never speaks about her experience as a refugee.
When ELIAS (28) becomes critically ill after a sports injury, he and Masha, who have just moved into a cosy two-room apartment together, are forced to swap their romantic togetherness for a never-ending hospital stay. It is a trying time, not only for Elias. It becomes increasingly clear that he has papered over all the inconsistencies in Masha’s painstakingly assimilated life. Without him her life is turned upside down. Masha cheats on Elias with her ex-boyfriend. In the very moment Elias finds out about it, his health deteriorates, and Elias dies during an emergency operation.
Masha drops everything. With only her passport, she jumps on a plane to Israel and leaves her entire previous life behind. As the daughter of Jewish parents, she hopes to find whatever seems to be missing in her life. However, she doesn’t even speak Hebrew, she only speaks Arabic. So Masha does what she always does, she forges ahead, throwing herself into a new life and a new love. Her new girlfriend and lover, TAL (34) is an Israeli soldier, with a monster of a cat.
Due to the pervasive state of war in Israel and her unhealthy love for the patriotic Tal, Masha is confronted with her past and is finally forced to deal with her own problems. She could run away yet again, but instead she does something that her parents never could. She returns to her grief and her friends and to her home – to Germany.