The German film Aimée & Jaguar is a complicated love tale, based on a true story, set during World War II. Lilly Wust is the bored housewife of a Nazi soldier, with four children, who is pursed by and falls in love with Felice Schragenheim, a Jewish lesbian living in hiding but working a regular and public job as a secretary to appear like an upstanding German citizen. The film is told in a flashback that is initiated when Lilly, now in her 80s, is moved into the same home for the elderly as Ilse, her children’s former nanny. Ilse served as the introduction between her employer Lilly and her friend Felice.
Aimée & Jaguar is a story you don’t see told very often: two women in love during World War II and one’s a Jew. But what’s interesting, in fact, is that they make a point that the Gestapo hunt for Felice not because she’s a lesbian but because she’s Jewish.
But Lilly’s naive, shrill, and flighty. It was hard for me to like her and even harder for me to believe that she gave everything up so seemingly easily. Likewise, Felice is portrayed as the pursuer and quite successful with women; her quick decision to become monogamous, despite her quite significant secrets from Lilly, and her abandonment of her survive-above-all-else lifestyle seems odd as one moment she’s kissing Ilse at a party while Lilly looks on in dismay. In the end, in current day 50 years later, Lilly is still seemingly naive as she and Ilse discuss, albeit briefly, the past and Felice, their common love.
Regardless of the slight inconsistencies, Aimée & Jaguar is an important and uncommonly told story that is acted and filmed well.