Born into a well-off family, Franz Blum had led a carefree youth until, some time after graduating from high school, he was arrested by the police. For, involved by a gang of bad boys, the ... See full summary »
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Mária Tasnádi Fekete
Born into a well-off family, Franz Blum had led a carefree youth until, some time after graduating from high school, he was arrested by the police. For, involved by a gang of bad boys, the young man had taken part in a bank robbery. A "heroic deed" which earned him six years in prison. Once behind bars, he was treated with ruthless inhumanity by the guards. And little by little - but inexorably - Franz turned into an insurgent... Written by
A deeply ironic film about what one man learns from his time in prison
Roughly translated the English title for this is The Brutalization of Franz Blum and that's exactly what the story is about. Franz Blum (Jurgen Prochnow) goes to prison for his part in a bank robbery. He previously worked in a bank, came from a good family and has never been in trouble before. An intelligent, caring man he quickly comes to realise that he has to survive in a world he can scarcely comprehend, where brute force and ignorance are more important than anything else. Slowly Franz Blum learns how to fight back from the insults and beatings that his fellow inmates inflict on him, until he starts to become one of the most influential of the prisoners with his own 'gang'. His survival comes at a price, as he discards his moral principles and begins to manipulate the inmates as much, if not more, than the wardens and the previous gang leaders. The ending is deeply ironic and rings horribly true. Although well acted by everyone, it is Prochnow who makes this movie so outstanding and is one of his best performances apart from Das Boot and Die Konsequenz.
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