Barely out of her teens, dependent on her family and extremely nearsighted, Monika, 20,
desperately wants to pass her driving test. She undertakes a risky eye laser operation
which fails and she loses her sight. Her fragile mother cracks under the strain of seeing
her daughter blind and defenceless. Through this Monika shows her own inner strength and
fights for her independence. A year later she enrols in an apprenticeship as a physical
therapist. She discovers a new sensual connection to the outside world and discovers a
balance between disability and autonomy.
By learning to cope with the particular challenges of her blindness Monika learns to face
and deal with her innermost desires and needs. This is the most fascinating aspect of these
challenges to me. It is a phenomenon which we often came across in our research for the project:
a person, to what ever large extend physically challenged, is simply not willing to give up
- and may that just be a matter of principle. Discovering this archaic power in particularly
challenged people, inspired me to make the film. Rosalie Thomass' performance of Monika
portraits this fundamental force in a highly impressive way.
MONIKA deals with two universal issues that directly affect our lifes. It´s a story about the
integration of a particularly challenged person into our society and at the same time, MONIKA
is a coming of age story of a teenage girl. Monika struggles with her handicap and the limits
set by her lonely and depending mother. The story deals with both issues in an uniquely balanced
way, as both aspects of the narrative are mutually depended in MONIKA.