Frühreifen-Report (1973)

In this documentary style comedy/drama by Ernst Hofbauer, several vignettes explore the sexuality of youth, and recommend how parents should react to it.

This episodic film is a close relative of Wolf Hartwig’s schoolgirl report movies, made by the same people, in a similar style, around similar topics. However, this one specifically focuses on the coming-of-age aspects, to an extent that it also touches on delicate issues such as paedophilia.

The schoolgirl report movies had the habit of occasionally subjecting its audience to some moralising, with the basic message that today’s youth was more misunderstood than depraved. This was typically delivered in a sometimes fairly and sometimes utterly patronising style – in the former case by the reporter and voice-over, and in the latter case by the character “Dr. Bernauer” (alias Günther Kieslich). I always had the impression that this moralising was complete bogus, merely a gimmick to pacify censors or press.

Watching this movie though made me think again because the moralising aspects suddenly take centre-stage, to an extent which surely must have annoyed the film’s most likely audience – the raincoat brigade. Thus the makers apparently believed in their message after all, even if the message does not come across very convincingly.

As a result, some of the episodes are a strange mixture of run-of-the-mill exploitation stuff with issues concerning good or bad parenting. For example, in one episode Elise (Marie Luise Lusewitz) has Sunday morning sex with her husband, unaware that her young children are already awake and watching them through the bedroom’s keyhole; her hubby finds the subsequent inquisition by the kids regarding the technical details of this weird wrestling match too hard to take and reacts in a way that gives the commentator ample opportunity for more moralising criticism.

But other episodes are just bizarre. One episode of rather dubious taste sees a mother (type: loser, white trash) accidentally discovering that spanking her (approximately 11 year old) daughter appears to re-awaken the waning sexual interest of her boyfriend in her – and she exploits that observation like a free Viagra prescription. When the mother later discovers that his sexual interest extends to the daughter as well she blackmails him into marrying herself.

Date: April 6, 2021