In the Fade

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In the Fade

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Overview

Golden Globe Winner for Best Foreign Film!

Out of nowhere, Katja’s life falls apart when her husband Nuri and little son Rocco are killed in a bomb attack. The mind-numbing search for the perpetrators and reasons behind the senseless killing complicate Katja’s painful mourning, opening wounds and doubts. The trial pushes Katja to the edge, but there’s simply no alternative for her: she wants justice.

“Mr. Akin, whose previous features include the explosive “Head-On” and the sprawling, wrenching political melodrama “The Edge of Heaven,” observes his characters and their social environment with a rigorously measured mix of intensity and detachment. Katja, in the days and weeks after the attack, spirals through stages of grief, shock and despair. Surrounded by relatives, friends and in-laws, and visited by pushy, polite detectives, she seems desperately, furiously alone. Because her husband, Nuri (Numan Akar), was a Turkish immigrant and a former drug dealer, the police raise the specters of Islamist terrorism and gang activity. Katja is adamant: “Nazis killed my husband.” She has the grim satisfaction of being right.

If the first section of “In the Fade” provides a series of snapshots of a contemporary German life — the hectic pleasures of its big cities; its ambivalent multiculturalism; its bureaucratic humanism — the second part zeros in on the gears of the country’s legal system… Katja’s interests are represented by an old friend (Denis Moschitto), who seems kind and conscientious. The accused murderers, a young married couple, are defended by a tall, bald, sarcastic lawyer (Johannes Krisch)… who succeed[s] in galvanizing the audience’s disgust, and in reframing the story as a conflict between the desire for justice and the drive for vengeance. This is a venerable theme in movies, driving the plots of most of westerns. In this instance, it carries an extra jolt of political relevance. How should liberal societies deal with homegrown political extremists, who seek protection from the democratic norms and institutions they are committed to destroying? How should the victims of far-right-wing violence fight back?” —A.O. Scott, New York Times. In German with English subtitles. Rated R. 106 minutes.

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