Uschi Obermaier is known for sleeping with Mick Jagger. And Keith Richards. Around this time, in between her ultra-groupie escapades, she also did a little modelling. The time she spent at Kommune 1 – the first known politically inspired commune in Germany – made her a major symbol of the sexual revolution – though she claims to have no interest in politics whatsoever. But she was a woman. Independent, firm (rejecting the offers made to her by countless men), free-spirited and open to love. She left the political side of her adopted leftist, counter-culture lifestyle to the others. If anything, the long discussions bored her.
Eight Miles High (Das Wilde Leben) is a German docudrama that takes a look inside her life as a fashion model, sex symbol and icon of the left. Generally, the film doesn’t delve into who she really is as a person – many people citing this as reason to criticise. Though I believe, aided by Natalia Avelon’s ambiguous presence – this helped us become more aware of Obermaier’s public persona. Avelon’s performance gives way to an act within an act of sorts. Actually, this “quality” gives Achim Bornhak’s film the ability to illuminate not who she was, but what she was. The miniature phenomenon that became Uschi had its roots in a small, suburban town in Germany called Sendling.
This is an entertainingly well-made production that finds its place in the characters that inhabit the care-free world of the late-sixties. Victor Noren and Alexander Scheer present a near-accurate and hilarious picture of Jagger and Richards in their prime, Matthias Scheighofer as left-wing intellectual Rainer Langhans proves to be funnier and more provocative than Langhans may have liked, while Natalia Avelon – amidst all of her pouting, her teasing, her tempting curiosity – provides a better Uschi than most could possibly wish for. It should also be said that among the shallowness and the clichéd insights, a beautiful, at times touching story shows itself – allowing viewers to find themselves.
Eight Miles High, adapted from the Obermaier biography “High Times”, does very little to disappointment for the simple reason that it doesn’t hope to be anything other than what it sells. It’s a well put-together story outlining the pleasurable life of the best groupie in the world. Watch it for that.
Eight Miles High (Das Wilde Leben) at IMDb
Eight Miles High (Das Wilde Leben) at Wikipedia
Eight Miles High (Das Wilde Leben) at Rotten Tomatoes
Eight Miles High (Das Wilde Leben) (awards won and nominated for) at IMDb