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Austria, 2011, 96 Minute Running Time
Topics: Drama, Thriller
Program: World Cinema
Language: German English Sub-Titles

Illustrating the banality of evil in an impressively controlled and sometimes darkly humorous fashion, Michael follows a thirtyish pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement. Taking a coolly non-judgmental, non-psychological approach to a disturbing topic, the film slowly reels viewers in with its strong lead performance, a creepy accumulation of ordinary detail, and suspenseful twists. Although certainly not to all tastes, this is a film for viewers who appreciate challenging material and strong cinematic style. Michael is a buttoned down insurance exec with a spotless suburban home. He drinks with male pals and appears attractive to women. Yet he's also forcing sexual relations on his captive, Wolfgang, compounding the abuse by telling the child that his parents don't want him. Thankfully, the scenes of physical abuse are implied rather than shown. In showing the interactions between the man and the boy, debuting director Schelinzer provocatively questions the definition of monstrous with scenes that echo typical family dynamics. Ingenious plot twists rise organically from the tightly structured narrative.

DIRECTOR: Markus Schleinzer
Producer: Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Markus Glaser, Michael Kitzberger, Wolfgang Widerhofer
Editor: Wolfgang Widerhofer
Screenwriter: Markus Schleinzer
Cinematographer: Gerald Kerkletz
Principal Cast: Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain, Ursula Strauss, Viktor Tremmel, Gisela Salcher
Filmography: Debut Feature
Print Source: Strand Releasing - www.strandreleasing.com

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