“In the Fade”: German film shows neo-Nazi terrorists attacking Muslims

In the Fade”, (“Aus dem Nichts”, directed by Fatih Akin, story by Mark Bohm), certainly makes a statement (with some facts at the end of the film in the rolling credits) that terrorism, especially in Germany, can be directed at Muslims, by neo-Nazis.

The film unfolds as a rather compelling three-part drama.  Part 1, “Family” presents our heroine Katja Sekerci  (Diane Kruger) getting married to a Kurdish immigrant Nuri (Numan Akar), and raising their son. We learn that Nuir has been in jail for drug offences, but seems now to have an accounting business helping other immigrants in the Turkish section of Hamburg. In fact, the very first shot in the film shows Katja protecting her son crossing the street from a speeding driver.  She describes her husband as “agnostic” (raised as a Muslim), or, essentially, secular and now westernized or assimilated.

Suddenly, as she goes to meet her husband at the office, she learns that the office was bombed, and that the husband and son are gone, bodies burned beyond recognition. The police suspect it to be an organized crime hit, but the case takes a turn when a dad turns in a German neo-Nazi couple, the Moellers (Ulrich Brandhoff and Hanna Hilsdorf), based on bomb-making evidence in his farm.

Part 2, “Justice”, the middle of the film, presents the courtroom drama and trial. But the prosecution’s case is undermined by Katja’s own drug use, which undercuts the credibility of her testimony.

So Part 3, “Revenge”, has a vigilante Katja in Greece, tracking down the couple on the Mediterranean coast through gumshoeing the Greek Nazi party.  Here the film makes a disturbing point: she can learn how to make a pressure cooker bomb from the Internet (just like the Tsarnaev brothers). At one point, an alert bird, sparrow-like but attractive, ironically spoils her plans.  (Wild animals know a lot more than we think.)   But it is not too much of a spoiler to say that the film’s conclusion is apocalyptic and shocking.

The film is distributed in the US by Magnolia, but had major studio distribution in Europe from Warner Brothers, with big production support from Studio Canal and The Match Factory.

I’ve been in Hamburg once, in 1972;  it was my first stop on my first trip to Europe at age 29.  I remember the Hotel Phoenix, almost on the waterfront.

The film won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film (German).

Hamburg panorama (wiki).

Hamburg after WWII bombing (wiki).

Name:  “In the Fade
Director, writer:  Fatih Akin, Mark Bohm
Released:  2017
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed: Landmark West End, Washington DC, 2018/2/3, almost sold out
Length:  118
Rating:  R
Companies:  Magnolia, Warner Brothers, Studio Canal, The Match Factory
Link:  official
Stars:  3-1/2 out of 5  ***#_

(Posted: Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 9 PM EST)