Júlia (Elena Martin) is an architecture student from Catalan who is set to go to study in Berlin for a year thanks to an Erasmus programme. Once she’s there she’s completely alone for the first time in her life, the distance from home puts a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend (Oriol Puig) and slowly she starts to make friends with fellow students and learn more about this new city.
Júlia ist is Elena Martin’s directorial debut and she co-wrote the film as well as playing the lead. She embodies Júlia so completely as someone that’s desperate to become her own, independent person but is also wary of making that leap.
So many people can relate to the uncertainty Júlia feels when she moves to a new place. Whether you’ve been away from home to go to university, or generally moved to another part of your own country or to a completely new country for whatever reason, everyone’s felt alone or isolated at some point.
Júlia ist is a great study of student life. There’s the drama or open relationships when feelings get involved, long-distance relationships, making friends, living with people, and making sure you balance having fun and doing well in your studies. It’s such a well-written take on student life that it feels like you’re reliving your university day if you had them, and even if you didn’t, the characters are so natural you can easily put yourself in their shoes.
Júlia ist is understated but no less engaging. It’s a simple story about messy relationships, culture shock and finding one’s place. There are no big revelations or huge dramatics, instead, it’s a quiet film about a woman who’s just trying to figure out who she is.
Directed by: Elena Martin
Starring: Elena Martin, Oriol Puig, Jakob D’Aprile