Undiagnosed meningitis erases successful academic Lena's biographical memory. The medical diagnosis: retrograde amnesia, i.e. she recognises no one, including herself. She knows the words, but they no longer have meaning. Terms like rain, love and anger are empty.
She has to reshape her 'self' like a first-time actress learning her lines. Her husband Tore tries to teach her everything again with 'love and patience'. The last thing he makes Lena accept is that she loved him and that their joint past has the meaning it bears for Tore.
In Lose My Self, Jan Schomburg, who also had a female lead see life's certainties erased before her very eyes in his prize-winning debut feature Above Us Only Sky (2011), utilises Lena to examine how identity is shaped. To what extent is it determined by environment?
In Lena’s prosperous, progressive bourgeois milieu in which total self-fulfilment seems a god-given right, the brain-mangling concept of no longer having memory leads to more universal questions about identity, freedom and choice. Maria Schrader plays the helpless, yet in her personal vacuum almost invulnerable, Lena intensely, yet ironically and humorously.