Abschlussprojekt 2019 im MA Serial Storytelling der ifs internationale filmschule köln
Genre: Sci-fi / Comedy
2026. Berlin. Just when you thought Germany’s housing situation couldn’t get any more bizarre, a major scientific breakthrough erupts across the news: body-swapping, the ability to travel from body to body and experience what it’s like to be someone else. Think Airbnb, but for »human flats«.
Paraplegics experience the joy of walking again, senior citizens rave about raving in night clubs, and the youth are able to make an extra buck, simply by being young. Everything is going great. Until a series of disastrous incidents starts happening. As a consequence, the service becomes highly illegal and reserved only for a select few – those desperate enough to host strangers, and others, recklessly risking jailtime to experience the thrills of being someone else.
Oh, and let’s not forget that number of poor souls – like Nik (30), a car safety engineer who just happened to get caught up in this whole mess. Riddled with allergies, sexual repression, and social anxiety, Nik is a bitter man who shields himself from others, failing to find the courage to ask his big crush Johanna (28) out on a date. That’s why his best friend/ boss, Gregg (55), decides to give him a special birthday present – a trip into an attractive new body.
But before Nik can figure things out, his condo unexpectedly becomes a duplex. Maggie (55), a reckless thrill-seeker, crashes his rented body, since her own gets a new roommate: terminal lung cancer.
Who ever said sharing is caring, didn’t have to share a body with someone else. Especially if that body is furnished with the life of Tim (28), a small-time crook and addict who got himself into a big mess – a pregnant girlfriend, a domineering landlord father, and a ruthless gangster, Yanis (age un-known), who uses him as a drug mule. Jumping from body to body, Yanis is a constant threat, sending the two on dangerous missions and even occupying Nik’s stored-away body for his devious plans.
Sharing a flat can be messy. Sharing a body is a disaster. These two polar opposites fight over pretty much everything. But they have to make compromises and work together to keep up the image, and the body – and thus themselves – alive. In time, Nik learns to stand up to the self-criticizing voices in his head. He even manages to start a relationship with Johanna (although in the body of Tim and in the company of Maggie), who in turn discovers that vodka and sex might not be solutions to all problems.
»Occupied« sets out to explore the many shapes and forms of imprisonment we trap ourselves in – from toxic relationships and unsatisfying jobs to tormenting psychological patterns. While Nik and Maggie might disagree, all these things shackle us more firmly than any sets of handcuffs.