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Diane Kruger gives an astonishing, Cannes Best Actress award-winning performance in this riveting thriller from Turkish director Fatih Akin (Head-on, The Edge of Heaven), which screened in Competition at the festival and subsequently collected the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
A loving, if unconventional Hamburg wife and moth, Katja’s (Kruger) life falls apart when her Kurdish husband Nuri (Numan Acar) and their young son Rocco (Rafael Santana) are killed in a bombing. Struggling to cope with shock and the weight of her tremendous grief, she becomes obsessed with locating the perpetrators and the motivations behind the seemingly senseless killing; as Danilo (Denis Moschitto), a lawyer and Nuri’s best friend, represents her against the suspects in a trial that pushes her to a moral crisis in her desperation for justice and revenge.
A politically charged tale of grief and violence in modern Germany, Akin’s film dwells on both the pleasures of multiculturalism and the horror is causes on the far right; asking questions about how liberal societies should deal with home-grown extremists, as well as how their victims can fight back. A courtroom drama as well as a thriller, it’s anchored by Kruger’s brilliantly compelling turn as the hard-drinking, drug using Katja, for whom the trial is a search for meaning in a newly nonsensical world.