Irina returns home one day to find her parents murdered by a group of rebels who proceed to sexually abuse her and move on to the next town. With nothing left to live for in her present life, Irina flees her war-torn country to Berlin where she becomes a prostitute as a means of survival. While working the streets of Berlin, she meets Kalle, a young homeless man who spends his days begging for money. Through this chance encounter the two of them find solace in each other and quickly start living together in Irina's apartment. As their relationship blossoms, a horrific event threatens to destroy their happiness with each other, which forces Kalle to extreme measures in an attempt to save their love. Doris Dorrie's Bliss is an unconventional love story that understands its characters and beautifully captures the idea of love with the happiness, sadness, and sacrifice that come with it. Both Irina and Kalle are incredibly well-dimensioned characters who come from checkered pasts. Irina is a character whose hidden her sadness and despair of her tragic past deep inside herself, even resorting to physical pain in an effort to shield herself from the emotional anguish she deals with on a daily basis. On the other hand the viewer isn't given much detail about Kalle, but it's apparent that he is someone who never sees things through to the end, routinely running away from any type of conflict or trouble which presents itself as an obstacle to him. The relationship which these two share shields them from their past trauma and the film continually reminds the viewer as to the precarious nature of this situation. For example, Irina's pastoral upbringing is represented in the apartment which she shares with Kalle, another reminder of how her past and present commingle regardless of how much she shuts herself off to the past. There is a meditative aspect to the film as well, as the film routinely hints at a higher presence above, routinely showing beautiful shots of the skies if to suggest that love itself is watching over this young couple. There is almost nothing about Bliss' story that isn't motivated by the characters of Kalle and Irina, with the final major conflict serving as a unique and surprisingly grisly yet beautiful reminder of the true love they share for each other. In a way, Bliss reminded me a lot of Leos Carax's Lovers on the Bridge in that both are unique loves stories that beautifully capture the ups, downs and inside outs of what love and relationships entail.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.