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In My Room 2018

In My Room

In My Room

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One morning he wakes up: the world looks the same as always, but mankind has disappeared. A film about the frightening gift of maximum freedom.

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About the In My Room 💬

  • Fate or something like it.

Feeling he hit rock bottom both personally and professionally and scared of thinking about the future, Armin (Hans Löw) wakes up one day to find out that he is the only person alive on Earth. Just when he is getting used to this new world order, his now steady and carefree life gets turned upside down once again.


Armin lives alone and avoids commitment. Whether he loves his freedom too much or is running from responsibility - he has left his options open for so long, most are now missed opportunities. He lives from day to day, takes what he can and avoids looking into the future. Only after losing someone he loves does he begin asking questions. When he wakes up in an empty world, he needs to make a decision. He chooses life. And when he meets the last woman on earth he believes in love for the first time. But even in paradise, the question arises: Can the possibility of happiness withstand reality?

Like the main character Armin and many others of my generation, I grew up in a liberal household without any existential hardships. After high school graduation, many doors were open. We didn't think about choosing a career or starting a family right away because the possibilities seemed endless. The sense of being able to start over at any time is part of my identity, just as much as refusing to conform to materialistic logic and security-mindedness.

But as you advance in age, the range of possibilities quickly becomes narrower, regardless of which path you take. Not committing to anything, as Armin does, doesn't mean that all doors will remain open. The constraints of our generation look different, but do we really have more freedom than our parents did? How does this freedom manifest itself? Our dignity relies on the belief that we create our own biographies.

The protagonists in this film experience a catastrophe and are given the chance to reshape their lives. But they can't start from scratch; they're dragging their past with them. Kirsi's faith in love has been shaken and Armin has never lived with a woman before.

On the peak of its crisis, the film leaves realism behind and throws the protagonist into a deserted world. The narrative follows the inner logic of the character and deliberately refuses a realistic explanation for this deviation. Thus Armin's crisis is deepened and fundamental questions about human nature arise. The disappearance of man serves as the framework for an experiment which explores the conflict between the desire for both freedom and intimacy. This film raises the question if we humans are capable of reinventing ourselves.

IN MY ROOM is not a dystopian movie - disaster and the destruction of mankind are not the focus of this film - it's a ''realistic'' story with an unrealistic premise, the love story of the last humans on earth.


Q: IN MY ROOM is your first genre film - even if the genre isn't all that easy to define.

Ulrich Köhler: My first thoughts on this project came about while reading, not watching films. Marlen Haushofer's ''The Wall,'' Arno Schmidt's ''Black Mirror'' or David Markson's ''Wittgenstein's Mistress'' are not easy to classify, either. The absence of others allows them to view humans in isolation and free of social constraints. These are not dystopian texts. Schmidt's protagonist is even quite happy about being alone. At its core, IN MY ROOM is probably a castaway narrative. It entails childlike fantasies of a simple, self-sufficient life in nature.

Q: The film's title is the same as that of a bitter-sweet Beach Boys song.

Ulrich Köhler: ''Now it's dark and I'm alone, but I won't be afraid, in my room...'' To me, Armin is already a Crusoe: Even before humanity disappears, he has withdrawn, shut the door and is letting no one in. In the second part of the film, when he wants to open the door, it's too late. Kirsi is similar to Armin at the start of the film; Disappointed by bourgeois life, she has become a nomad. The two protagonists have taken paths leading in opposite directions.

Q: An inversion of traditional gender roles?

Ulrich Köhler: Yes, she is restless, a hunter, and he is sedentary, a farmer who wants to start a family and create a new world. She doesn't believe in the future and wants to experience something in the time that remains. Armin doesn't take this seriously. She's his Eve, his dream must also be her dream. The two of them don't succeed in reconciling their different views. Romantic love is a symbiotic concept and doesn't prepare us particularly well for the compromises of everyday life.

Q: The two of them don't manage to free themselves from their biographies.

Ulrich Köhler: Yes, you could say Armin is free because he dares to make a fresh start. Conversely, you could say Kirsi is free because she refuses to accept the logic of the situation. If the last woman meets the last man, that doesn't necessarily mean they have to become a couple. We tend to blame social constraints for our lack of freedom and overlook the fact that our biographies make us who we are. We've internalized countless things and freedom may possibly be wasted on us.

Q: Do we need to know what happened on the night that mankind vanished?

Ulrich Köhler: No. The disappearance is a postulate that heightens the inner condition of the protagonist. I'm no prophet, the film doesn't offer a vision of the future. Unlike dystopian cinema, it's not about warning against undesirable aberrations or investigating causes. The deserted world is an experimental design that asks if - when freed of social constraints - we could make a fresh start.

Q: Kirsi asks: ''Why do you live in Germany? You could live anywhere.''

Ulrich Köhler: Yes, it's the audacious thesis that after a short trip to the south, the last person on earth settles in the district of Lippe, Germany. Armin remains in a place he knows. If all possibilities are open to you, you can also choose what’s close at hand.

Q: You call the second part the ''Paradise Part.'' Why?

Ulrich Köhler: If Aldi, Lidl, Kik and Rewe were to be taken back by nature, then to me this is not a horrific scenario - in this regard, the disappearance has a romantic aspect. Armin feels at home and does things he completely refused to in his previous life. He takes responsibility, takes care of his animals and garden.

Q: ''Back to the roots?''

Ulrich Köhler: The way Armin endeavors to live self-sufficiently isn't without irony. His rejection of the internal combustion engine has no particular ecological significance in a world devoid of humans. I can understand Kirsi making fun of his hydroelectric power station and horse-drawn cart.

Q: The physical transformation of Armin in the ''Paradise Part'' is impressive. How did Hans Löw, the leading actor, prepare for it?

Ulrich Köhler: Hans was great fun to work with, he's very physical. He used to play handball and was on the national youth team. His metamorphosis is crucial for the inner transformation of the character. Both leading actors spent a lot of time in nature in the weeks prior to the shoot. They were with hunters in the forest, cared for the animals, fed chickens, milked goats, and even slept in the hut. They were meant to get to know the world their characters inhabit.

Conducted by Martin Hossbach.

In My Room Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Ulrich Köhler

Writing Credits

Ulrich Köhler


Hans Löw

Elena Radonicich

Michael Wittenborn

Ruth Bickelhaupt

Emma Bading

Katharina Linder

Felix Schmidt-Knopp

Kathrin Resetarits

Cinematography by

Patrick Orth

Genres: Adventure, Drama, Mystery

Countries: Germany, Italy

In My Room Official Trailer

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