Don’t Come Knocking

Wim Wenders, 2005

Intermezzo 10: Bettina

Filigreed silhouettes stir against the calm of the grey-blue sea; wisps of pink float in the transparent sky, a wash of orange and yellow marks the horizon: Dawn over St Brelade’s Bay. Breathing softly in her sleep, Bettina lies sprawled on the bed. Parisian, she’s at Ulm, preparing the agrégation in English literature. Seeking a change of scene, she’d come to Jersey on a whim. I met her in a cinema in St Helier; Don’t Come Knocking, we discovered, had struck a chord in both of us.

Gabriel Mann as Earl

Sarah Polly as Sky

In the hubbub of a pub we created a bubble of privacy, an intimacy made intense by the timbre of her French. Wenders’ tale of Earl and his angel sister, siblings ignorant of each other brought together by the return of a lost father, had us discussing filiation and belonging, home and identity. When the bar closed we didn’t want to part. Outside, under a streetlight, we broke into laughter and embraced: Turned out we were staying at the same hotel.