Sunday, January 28, 2018

“In the Fade” “Revanche” in Hamburg

By José Alberto Hermosillo
“In the Fade,” an intense, game-changing thriller, that will make you see humanity with a whole new perspective. 

This year's winner of the Golden Globe and the Critics’ Choice Awards is a brilliant German feature directed by Fatih Akin (“Goodbye Berlin,” “The Edge of Heaven,” and “Head-On”).
Fatih Akin, director of "In the Fade," photo Jose Alberto Hermosillo. 2018, COPYRIGHT FestivalinLA 
The story begins with a fun and loving, interracial German-Turkish couple in Hamburg. Their lives are about to change by a tragic event perpetrated by a White Supremacist.

After a terrorist attack outside of the couple's office, Katja (Diane Kruger) is beyond consolable and loses herself to a deep depression where suicidal thoughts seem to be her only peace. 

Two suspects were arrested in the case. In court, she has to face the attackers, only to further hate, for the murder of her son and husband. 

When justice eludes her, vengeance is her obsession, and it becomes her drug of choice. Still not thinking clearly and out of options, she firmly believes that retribution is now hers to execute.

Winner of the 2017 Best Actress award in Cannes, Diane Kruger’s performance is terrific, emotionally intense, her tremendous energy creates an electric connection with the audience.

"In the Fade" has a very well-researched script, displaying through its legal lingo, a very vivid German courtroom scenes with their proper cultural actions that every character unfolds perfectly.

Director Fatih Akin made this film very personal by adding to his vision, a racial struggle of his own.

Without being unapologetic, the film presents the raw and sad sentiment of racial intolerance that is darkening the world.

For instance, the word “Neo-Nazi” was meticulously mentioned only in two crucial moments of the story. Swastikas and other fascist symbols were never shown. 

The director cleverly intended to remove all the free propaganda that only benefits those radical groups, by saying, "We are aware of them, and we are not afraid."

American films rarely touch this controversial subject as sordid and vividly as Europeans do. Perhaps, different realities in their regions influenced their stories. 

It is worth mentioning a couple of landmarks movies made in the United States, "American History X" (1998), and the documentary "Oklahoma City" (2017). 

European and Middle-East productions are much bolder. Those films have something essential to say about domestic terrorism such as the French projects "Made in France," "Les Cowboys," and "Carlos."

Oscar nominees "Paradise Now" and "Omar" from Palestine are transcendental regarding what we can learn from their violent history.

"The Attack" from Lebanon is also another powerful film about an endless war within. Israel has many terrific films on the issue such as "Bethlehem" and "Adjami." Morroco produced "Horses of God" and "Death for Sale" portrayed their restless youth like no other country could do.

"In the Fade" is told in chronological order, and its structure is split in two acts - a courtroom drama, and an intense psychological thriller. Its assembly is not creative enough to make its linear structure less predictable. 

More daring editing needed with a back and forth narrative, that could add a more thought-provoking concept, similar to the composition and complexity of films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Babel” or “Irreversible.”

This is a very well-recommended flick, and it has won many awards around the world, but failed to get the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2018. It must be a reason for the Academy members to skip this award winner German import.

"In the Fade" is a fierce project that works well as catharsis about the pulsing of the World’s contemporary, Social Crisis.
Film Critic Jose Alberto Hermosillo
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