Intense black and white feature, concentrating on affect and emotion
Young German director Markus Lauterbach's feature debut is amazingly intense. As the title "Verzweiflung" ("Despair") suggests this is more about the inside state of a character, than about any external action. Both leading parts, Nina Petri and Sylvester Groth, are doing a great job, displaying their state of mind by small gestures. Lauterbach prefers filming them in close-ups, thereby creating a sense of nearness. Quite in contrast to Hollywood's scriptwriting rules, Lauterbach creates rarely ambivalent characters here, who may be repelling in one aspect, only to be likable in in another. Absolutely recommended.
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