Touch Me Not

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Romania | 2018 | 125 minutes | Adina Pintilie

At times explicit but never prurient, this cool and cerebral exploration of sexuality and intimacy lies on the cusp of documentary and fiction, touching on issues of loneliness and body image.

"This nonlinear exploration of intimacy seeks to challenge notions of beauty while opening viewers up to a range of sexual pleasures."—Variety

You have never seen a film like Touch Me Not. Laura is the center of an investigation. She wants to examine her deep-seated feeling of not wanting to be touched. In doing so, she rents a hotel room and brings in different characters to either soothe her, speak with her, or try to touch her. Furthermore, from time to time, director Adina Pintilie herself appears on a teleprompter and joins Laura in the conversation. The director purposefully blurs the border between documentary and fiction, refusing either label. Indeed, the film rejects labeling of all kinds. The project started as personal research, investigating how people "manage" their sexuality, and one of the most difficult tasks in filming was how to present this challenging material in visual language. Yet director Pintilie manages to do this with close-up focus on her characters in white rooms and other sterile environments and handling her "inquisitive celebration" respectfully, introducing all kinds of sexual intimacy, including that of the disabled. Pintilie intends her risky but not prurient film to be in dialogue with the viewer and hopes it fosters empathy, inclusion, and freedom of expression. That's a tall order, but as the brave director who won the Golden Bear at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival says, "All emotions are welcome."

Maryna Ajaja

Director Biography 
Romanian artist and director Adina Pintilie graduated from the Caragiale University of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography in Bucharest in 2008 and has served as the curator of the Bucharest Experimental Film Festival since 2010. Blurring the boundary between documentary and fiction, her award-winning films are experimental, marked by a highly personal visual style. Her feature documentary Don't Get Me Wrong (2007) was selected by over 50 international film festivals; her short film Diary #2 won the Zonta Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2013; and her first "narrative" feature, Touch Me Not, won the Golden Bear in its premiere at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival. 

Sponsored by American Romanian Cultural Society, The Stranger

  • Director: Adina Pintilie
  • Principal Cast: Laura Benson, Tomas Lemarquis, Christian Bayerlein, Grit Uhlemann, Adina Pintilie
  • Country: Romania, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Bulgaria
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 125 minutes
  • Producer: Philippe Avril, Bianca Oana, Adina Pintilie
  • Screenplay: Adina Pintilie
  • Cinematographers: George Chiper-Lillemark
  • Editors: Adina Pintilie
  • Music: Einsturzende Neubauten, Ivo Paunov
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Berlin Film Festival 2018 (Golden Bear for Best Film, Best First Feature)
  • Filmography: Don't Get Me Wrong (Doc, 2007)
  • Language: English, German
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Kino Lorber
  • International Sales: Doc & Film International