The Philosophy of Nothingness

Fatih Akin’s In the Fade (Aus Dem Nichts) may not be as brilliant as his masterpiece ‘The Edge of Heaven’ which dealt with ordinary mortals who suffer for their weaknesses like any Turgenev’s or Dostoyevsky’s characters but In the Fade, co-written by Yasemin, and ‘Goodbye Berlin’ fame writer Hark Bohm demands our attention for the helplessness of Katja (Diane Kruger) in the judicial system of Germany and her final decision to take revenge. Very rightly, Diane Kruger gets the Best Actress award in recently concluded 70th Cannes Film Festival for her nuanced performance.

Katja, a bohemian girl with body full of tattoos marries a Turkish man, Nuri while he is still in jail in Germany for drug peddling but later is rehabilitated. They have a young son and now they seem like an ideal family. One day, Katja drops her son at Nuri’s office, which is predominantly in a Turkish immigrant area. On her way back from her chores, to pick up her family, Katja is stuck in a heavy traffic jam. She realizes that there is a bomb explosion opposite Nuri’s office and panics. The whole office is destroyed to shambles, her picture perfect life collapses. This follows with the police investigation and Nuri’s lavish lifestyle is questioned. Cocaine is found in Katja’s apartment, which she was taking to cope with the sudden upheaval of her life. Katja driving a BMW with their average earning is not explained to the audience.

There is a surreal scene where Katja is lying in a bathtub filled with water, which slowly becomes red from the blood oozing out of her cut wrist. This is interrupted by a phone call from her lawyer friend who gives her hope to get justice and assures that the Neo Nazi sympathizers will be punished. But alas, the accused couple gets acquitted. There is a pleasant surprise when the father of the accused reveals his son’s intention in the court and meets Katja. These touches elevate the courtroom drama to a humane one.

Now, Katja starts her revenge trip to Greece trailing the accused couple, paying no heed to her lawyer’s advice. She is in despair and contemplates revenge. I shall not reveal the staggering end, which makes it worth a watch.

Fatih Akin and his co-writer have very successfully dealt with the rise of the neo-Nazi sympathizers in Germany. This is not a film about any particular religion but about the mistrust among people of different ethnicity to coexist in a society.

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