Movie Details

Two desperate people rent themselves out to people in need of loved ones in this offbeat drama from German director Christian Becker. Manu (Maja Schone) and Jakob (Robert Stadlober) are a couple in their mid-twenties who have fallen through society's safety net -- they can't find jobs, they've lost their home and live in a makeshift hovel in the woods without running water. However, they have discovered an unusual way to make a living; they befriend people who need physical and emotional support, and integrate themselves into their families or circles of friends, changing their wardrobe or appearance to fit their circumstances and taking a fee for giving them the human contact they lack. Manu is looking after Mrs. Katz (Gerda Boken), an elderly woman ignored by her family, while Jakob meets Martin (Sylvester Groth), a pilot who is still reeling from the death of his son. Jakob takes on the role of the son Martin still needs and wants in his life, but when Mrs. Katz dies and Manu wants to relocate, Martin is torn between the woman he loves and the family that has adopted him in a curious way. Zarte Parasiten (aka Tender Parasites) was an official selection at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi