If you compare a murder mystery with a puzzle you have here a case where not fitting pieces were rammed in with the help of a hammer. What defies disbelief are not the many unlikely coincidences but the fact that someone dared to present it to the viewers.
In a small hamlet on the northwestern coast of Germany a jogging parson is lured into a private house by a stereo blasting Mozart's Magic Flute. He finds a dead man tied to an office chair who by all appearances has been ritually executed. The local detective appears and soon there is also a young woman from the Federal Police. The dead man was not who he claimed he was but a former member of the terror group Red Army Faction, who once murdered someone, then emigrated to the German Democratic Republic then, after re-unification, sat a short time in prison and then was given a new identity. The local detective is not pleased that he has to deal with a young female colleague. And he has family problems too (pending divorce, child care, the whole caboodle, which is in no way related to the mystery but consumes a lot of time in the movie). And he has a SECRET. S P O I L E R: He is the BROTHER of the dead ex- terrorist! That's right. So he travels to Berlin with the young woman in the hope to learn what happened back then. He learns that the terrorist killed a guy who just left the Opera House after a rendition of guess what? the Magic Flute! From here the story develops slowly, awkwardly and painfully towards the surprise ending which is basically: The young police woman has a secret too! S P O I L E R: She is the DAUGHTER of the terrorist's victim. AND S P O I L E R she is not only the investigating cop but also the murderess! A jaw dropping revelation.
Now, of course the story contains tons of symbolic acts and facts which are supposed to somehow sum up the past 30 years of German history. But it just appears to be a lame excuse for a bad movie. The actors are remarkably bland.
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