A fatal terrorist bomb blast, an emotional and frustrating trial of the perpetrators, and the devastating aftermath of both – this is the intense drama, In The Fade, from acclaimed director Fatih Akin. This is his fictional rendering based on a series of bombings in his native Germany from 2000 to 2007. He tells the story in three parts as follows:
Part 1: “Family” (The Crime)
A German family happily goes about their normal day. Katja, the wife, drops their 6-year-old son off at her Kurdish husband Nuri’s office so she can meet a friend at a spa. A short time later, a bomb blast rocks the immigrant neighbourhood where his business is located, killing her husband and son. Absolutely gutted by the news, Katja believes it’s a hate crime committed by neo-Nazis targeting immigrants, and is enraged as the police instead focus on Nuri’s drug-dealing past and his Islamist affiliations. Frustrated and grief-stricken, with the unimaginable horror of planning a funeral for her husband and child, Katja falls into deep despair. When all seems lost, the bombers are caught—a neo-Nazi couple with a long history of activism.
Part 2: “Justice” (The Trial)
The case against the couple goes to trial, and on the surface it’s an open-and-shut case. But it becomes quickly evident that bringing justice to this guilty couple will be hard fought. Katja endures the excruciatingly painful and lengthy trial that even details how the bomb killed her family. There are twists on the way to a verdict, with the defence attorney employing an outrageous strategy to create doubt about the couple’s guilt, and the two are acquitted.
Part 3: “The Sea” (The Aftermath)
The police and the courts have failed her and, in her rage, Katja now contemplates confronting, or taking vengeance on, the people who murdered her loved ones. With so much anguish and so little to live for, she plans her revenge. Katja is determined to get some measure of justice by whatever means possible.
Says Peter Sobczynski of rogerebert.com: “The film tries to starkly illustrate the notion that the real victims of terrorism are not the dead, but the survivors who find their love and grief curdling into the kind of hate that can inspire the same kind of violence that took the lives of their loved ones.”
In the Fade is pretty depressing, but a tense and impactful ride with believable honest performances, with an especially stellar Diane Kruger in the role of the mother and wife who has lost everything. She is so good and convincing in her grief, you can almost feel her pain. For her performance, she won Best Actress at Cannes and at the Golden Globes.
In The Fade is rated R and plays at 5 p.m. at the Salmar Classic Theatre on Saturday, March 10.
It is subtitled.