You have to see two faces of this movie: first: its extraordinary pictorial sadness and consequence, which is fully reached by the camera, the direction and the excellent cast. (Hilmar Thate and Cornelia Schmaus, above all, show an intensity of face-acting that has become seldom in contemporary cinema.) This face, indeed, seems to be lifted by archaic 1920s-cinema, and it's a miracle that it could resurrect. But we have a second, very problematic face, too. The movie pretends to tell the story of people who are victims of the "capitalization" of former GDR, more generally: people who are considered the invisible "margin" of society. Making them visible, forms a great part of this movie's ethics, and signifies undoubtedly a merit. But here, the script fails. So many unbelievable details. Why hasn't Sylvia left this guy much earlier and why (that's even more crucial) does she seem to be so heavily surprised by his way of acting? (She should have known FOR YEARS that he is, p. e., not able to TALK about important things.) Why are Gina and her brother FASCINATED by Walter? We see a broken, very sick and psychopathic guy, but we don't see a "fascinosum". Maybe there is a failure in Thate's acting, but more important is the fact that a past as a factory's director doesn't explain fully WHY he tends to VIOLENCE. (Despair, by itself, does not necessarily produce violence!) And, after all, we don't have a portrait of the world Walter is opposed to; Berlin appears as an impressive stage-background, not more. We don't really see the details (apart from the metro things) that incite his fury. Here it is where the REALISTIC pretention of "Wege in die Nacht" is going to fail. Besides of this, it is an EXTRAORDINARY film, worth to be seen, in any case.
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