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(German language film with English subtitles)
This is a portrait of an impassive man, who we observe quietly going about his suburban life – attending his work, returning with his shopping to cook dinner in his neat and tidy home. We soon learn this man, Michael, has a boy held captive in his cellar. What makes the film so compelling is the ordinariness of their strangely domestic set up, at times they could be mistaken for father and son. Michael cuts the boy's hair, they prepare for Christmas and take trips to local parks. The true horrors of what is going on are only implied to us. The film deftly avoids emotions, judgement and even controversy – and as it should, we hardly need to be coerced into a feeling or opinion on this. What plays out has a cool, slow burning tension, fractured intermittently with shocking moments and sometimes even humour, that serve to remind the viewer of the quiet chaos that lies not only in the cellar, but often lurks beneath the ordinary...
Drama, World Cinema
- Certificate 18
Contains child sexual abuse theme
- Run Time
1 hour 36 minutes