One night when seeking his estranged wife, Hoffmann goes to the youth center where she works. The police are there rounding up radicals who frequent the center - Hoffmann runs into the ... See full summary »
One night when seeking his estranged wife, Hoffmann goes to the youth center where she works. The police are there rounding up radicals who frequent the center - Hoffmann runs into the building and ends up being shot in the head. He awakens with brain trauma, partially paralyzed and unable to speak. The police accuse him of stabbing an officer; the radicals herald him as an innocent victim of police brutality. During his slow recovery at the hospital, Hoffmann must piece together his life and struggle to remember the events of that night. Written by
Bruno Ganz is astonishing as a man recovering from traumatic brain injury. His performance is more realistic than most cinematic depictions of brain injury (aside from the idea that brain surgery could have been performed without shaving his head!), which is in itself remarkable; the many ways in which there is a knife in his head, literally and figuratively and symbolically, add layers to an already brilliant performance.
Angela Winkler also shines in her complex and troubled relationship to the injured man.
It's been years since I saw this film, and yet it stays with me. I really want to see it again. I have to say I think it's a real shame that it was not more widely seen initially, and that it never seems to make it back to the revival houses...
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