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TIFF Review: In the Fade

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A woman seeks justice against those responsible for the deaths of her husband and young son.

A video taken inside a prison shows the marriage between Kurdish-German convict Nuri (Numan Acar) and German-born Katja (Diane Kruger).  The narrative shifts to the present day where the couple have a young son who plays the violin.  The life of Katja is shattered upon discovering that her spouse and child have been the victim of a neo-Nazi bomb attack; the suspected murderers are caught and she takes part in the trial.

Filmmaker Fatih Akin efficiently establishes the close bond between Katja, Nuri, and their precocious son which enables the plot to quickly kick into gear.  There is a grounded approach to narrative as Katja does not become an expert assassin seeking revenge.  Shots are allowed to linger and there is almost a quietness to the proceedings which enables the viewer to focus on the story.

Diane Kruger is the front and centre, and makes the most of the opportunity by showing distress, rage, vulnerability and strength.  The choices made by Katja are credible and believable.  The subject matter is nothing new but Fatih Akin shows a competent understanding of the genre and enough restraint to allow the cast, in particular Kruger, to command the attention of the audience rather than resorting to fancy camera and editing tricks.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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