This is how revenge movie should be made. Turkish director Fatih Akin takes a story that could have been plucked from today’s news and exposes the personal cost of racism.
Katja (Diane Kruger) marries Nuri (Numan Acar) when he is still in prison for drug dealing. Ten years later, they are living a reformed and respectable life in Germany with their son Rocco. On an ordinary day, Katja drops Rocco off at Nuri’s travel agency. She returns to find a bomb has killed them both.
Separated into three parts, In the Fade explores Katja’s life in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the trial of two suspects and then her journey to resolution and redemption. In Hollywood hands, the drama, melodrama and emotion would have been cranked to eleven so we would be in no doubt as to the morality of the perpetrators and victims. In Akin’s hands, we get a gentle and measured exploration of the experiences of one person with little extraneous exposition and lots of opportunities to watch and meditate on her experience.
The themes, particularly in light of recent racist and fascist attacks, are universally relevant and Katja’s journey and struggle for forgiveness seems all too real. It has the insight and respectful gravitas that Nocturama strives for but misses.
Kruger is excellent and I have a new respect for her. She perfectly captures the raw strength but also essential fragility of many a human being. The ending is exactly right.
Have you seen this film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.