Achim Bornhak’s Exasperating Eight Miles High


Groupie Uschi (“ooh-she”) Obermaier has a name that’s fun to say and a youth that reads like it was even more fun to live, but Eight Miles High, Achim Bornhak’s exasperating biopic, is the biggest buzzkill that could possibly come of so much raw material. Raw is how Bornhak likes his heroine, and actress Natalia Avelon obliges; the opening shot, in which Avelon’s bare, buoyant breasts get as much real estate as her studiously jutted pout, is as close as this film gets to a thesis statement. Uschi, a gorgeous German woman of little discernible talent or personality, leaves home at 22 and ends up in a pseudo-radical commune in 1968 Munich. Item A on the agenda of the commune’s hairy overlord is convincing the lost lambs who wander in that they aren’t liberated until they nail him—and then watch him nail someone else. From there, Uschi follows several men (including Keith Richards and German adventurer Dieter Bockhorn) around the world, her spectacular rack and middling modeling career in tow. But the vitality of the time, and often Uschi’s own experiences, get lost somewhere in Avelon’s towering headdress of hair. Stoned on the story’s ’60s-sex-bomb potential, Bornhak piles on the sex and forgets the bomb; the result is unaffecting filmmaking, as slack-jawed and superficial as its subject.