Drown Your Tears in Wine
Written by Iris, Hans Michael Fink
Performed by Hans Michael Fink, Markus Münzenrieder, Wolfgang Scheiblhofer, Philipp Tröstner, Michael Fink
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Iris See more »
A convincing portrait of evil as the absence of empathy
Loosely based on a horrific true story of an Austrian man who kept a girl in his cellar for the best part of two decades, 'Michael' is a film I avoided watching for a long time in part because I feared it would simply prove too unpleasant. In fact, it's watchable and (mostly) understated: its (fictional) villain less a pure monster, more just an isolated person who decides to set up their own life the way they want to, and to keep a child as one would keep a pet. Even then, his incapacity for emotion (towards the child, or indeed, for anybody else) is striking, which partly explains his appalling actions. I don't know how the details of this story reflect on the actual tale; but it seems a believable portrait of how someone could come to act in this way. The film is low budget: some of the scenes may be shot as they are to save filming them more expensively, although the advantage is that the audience is encouraged to concentrate on what matters, not some lush background. The ending is premature disappointing dramatically but what's more interesting is how much I cared to see what happened next: 'Michael' might not literally be docu-drama, but it convinces as a portrait of evil as the absence of empathy.
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