'Vom Ende der Eiszeit' is a film which combines the solving of a murder with the story of a policewoman's personal relationships. The latter are quite intense, because the story is set in a hamlet on Germany's cold and windy North Sea coast. After they have been living together for twelve years, Bruno Massmann, played by August Schmölzer, proposes marriage to Lena Jörning, the policewoman played by Veronica Ferres. Then a body is found in the icy sea, and it turns out to be Lena's sister, Evelyn, played in numerous flashbacks by Janna Striebeck, sister of Catrin Striebeck and daughter of Peter Striebeck.
After that, it is, of course, no wonder that Lena no longer shows any signs of happiness or satisfaction. Not only has she lost a close relative, but because there are so few people living nearby, almost everyone who is male is a suspect. This is the background to a pervasively sad atmosphere to the film, and further surprises in the storyline heap on the misery.
The two criminal investigators who are sent to solve the murder, played by Detlev Buck and Konstanze Breitebner, turn out to be so arrogant that they are somewhat beyond credibility.
Evelyn's husband, Claas Simon, played by Martin Feifel, ably adds to the gloom.
Although the film is blessed with very good acting, it was let down both by a lack of variety in the mood, and by supporting characters, particularly the investigators, who were too stereotyped. Although the story easily contains sufficient justification for the depressed mood, it is disconcerting that not even the flashbacks provide for any escape from the sombre scenes.
Although the final scenes have some features which seem to join the threads of the story together, I do not even find that particularly satisfying. A more rounded ending would improve the whole film.
It is a depressing waste of some moving acting performances.
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