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Breathing (2011)
"Atmen" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  31 August 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,184 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 13 user | 75 critic | 8 from

Through his work at a morgue, an incarcerated young man trying to build a new life starts to come to terms with the crime he committed.



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Director: Karl Markovics
Stars: Ulrike Beimpold, Nikolai Gemel, Simon Jaritz


Credited cast:
Roman Kogler
Karin Lischka ...
Margit Kogler
Georg Friedrich ...
Rudolf Kienast
Walter Fakler
Stefan Matousch ...
Gerhard Schorn
Luna Zimic Mijovic ...
Mona (as Luna Mijovic)
Georg Veitl ...
Jürgen Hefor
Klaus Rott ...
Leopold Wesnik
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johann Bednar ...
Michael Duregger ...
Polizist #2
Elena Dörfler ...
Roberta Fakler
Lukas Fuchs ...
Ikea customer with hat
Magdalena Kronschläger ...
Junge Frau
Louis Markovics
Reinhold G. Moritz ...
Josef Kallinger


Through his work at a morgue, an incarcerated young man trying to build a new life starts to come to terms with the crime he committed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

31 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Breathing  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


€1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$949 (USA) (31 August 2012)


$3,342 (USA) (12 October 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was selected as Austria's submission to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, but it did not make the final shortlist. See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful, touching, powerful, lovely and deeply satisfying
18 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I fought hard not to fall in love with this movie, but I lost that battle. Words seem inadequate to describe a movie that communicates so effectively with very few words, words that only hold the story together but never carry the full weight of its power. But all I have here is words, so I must try.

Breathing is the story of Roman Kogler, a 19-year-old inmate of a juvenile detention center where he has lived since he was 14 and killed a boy who had been bullying him. Roman was given up by his overwhelmed teenage mother soon after his birth (she had almost killed him to stop his crying) and has spent his whole life in orphanages and group homes, where the bullying incident occurred.

He is almost catatonic, with no idea how to relate to other human beings. He's like a wounded wild animal held in a cage, never looking anyone in the eye and almost never speaking; I didn't count, but I'd be surprised if he said more than 50 words in the whole movie. Inside the tortured, terrified shell is a sweet and gentle boy tired of being alone but with no idea how to come out; a chance encounter with an American girl on a train is especially touching and lovely.

Thomas Schubert, the totally inexperienced actor who plays him (never even in a school play, and went to the audition only because a friend he wanted to see was going) does it all with his eyes, his face, and his body language. To say it's a powerful performance is a pitifully inadequate understatement. He is amazing.

This is a very, very great movie, the first feature written and directed by Austrian actor Karl Markovics. It is quiet and unpredictable and deeply moving, with none of the cheap emotional manipulation, gut-wrenching melodrama and gratuitous plot twists I was afraid of after a lifetime of watching American movies. Breathing is beautiful, simple, powerful and profoundly satisfying.

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