Life Lessons from Victoria in Berlin

As you may have gathered, I’m something of a film fan. In truth, I simply love good stories that give me something to think about and why I am passionate about the arts in general. Perhaps I read too much into a script, but I invariably look for life-lessons – which I believe to be a less expensive way to learn life truths (from others) than constantly blundering my way through. Indeed that’s one of the advantages of seeing a financial planner – we have seen it all before, well… those of us that have the relevant experience. Clients benefit from collective and compounding wisdom, not merely a single interaction.

The German film “Victoria” is a fairly unusual movie for the reason that it is shot in a single continuous “real time” take. This is nothing new as an experience – essentially the same as theatre direction or any live event, however, this is a thriller, high intensity and is a considerable achievement. Whilst set in Berlin, the central character is a Spanish woman (Victoria) played by Laia Costa,  and so the dialogue invariably is the shared spoken English of foreigners.

Under Pressure, wrong time, wrong place…

I had seen a trailer beforehand and was concerned that I wouldn’t like the film, thinking it likely to be yet another example of females portrayed as foolish, weak and daft for even speaking to the rather obviously dodgy shady male characters, meekly surrendering any power they have to men that follow the stereotype bully/criminal. I was pleased that I found it rather more nuanced, instead exploring concepts of rejection, allegiance and tribe, not to mention considerable power and self-confidence residing in Victoria.

It is often surprising to see and learn what some people will do for money or power, yet of course we are all prone to such experiences to a greater or lesser degree. Decisions made quickly from a place of vulnerability are often poor ones. This is a thrilling drama where the tension is vice-like in its grip as opposed to more stylised, expensive blockbusters.

There are reminders to parents about the expectations put on their children and how the wrong set of circumstances can quickly alter behaviour, previously unthinkable. It raises questions about how our own neediness is actually being met when we help others yet without any pause for reflection, can lead to a path of self-destruction.

Self-awareness is something that is rarely discussed in finance, even in financial planning circles (those that do it properly) yet it is a fairly vital element of a constructive relationship with your financial planner. Any good financial plan is driven by goals and based on values, but some of those really require considerable unearthing over time. The wrong pressures at the wrong times can have disastrous implications for your financial plan if it is not founded upon your values.

Here’s the trailer.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email