In the fade (Fatin Akin, 2017):Germany| France

Reviewed by Zinan He.   Viewed at AFI Fest 2017.

In the Fade is German film that came out in 2017. It is directed by Faith Akin and stars Daine Kruger as the main protagonist Katja. It is a thriller movie that surprises its audiences with every scene and drama. The film is inspired by the xenophobic murders that are committed by a Neo-Nazi group in Germany. The movie revolves around Katja, a woman from Hamburg whose life is wholly decimated when her son and husband are killed by Neo-Nazis in a bombing.
​ The movie begins with a weeding scene between Katja and Nuri Sekerchi in a shaky cellphone video. Initially, a drug dealer, Katja meets Nuri who is from Turkey while buying hashish as a student. She falls in love with him and marries him during his five-year sentence in jail even though Nuri’s parents and relatives oppose her decision. After returning from prison, they have a son Rocco. Nuri quits his old ways of living by selling drugs and becomes an officer in the tax office in Turkish quarter working a respectable job. The couple starts living a happy life with their son (Akin).
The mood of the movie slowly becomes edgy as one day Katja drops her son with her husband in the office. When she later returns in the evening she finds the streets blocked and full of flashing lights. The police inform her that a bomb attack took place where Nuri worked. The deadly nail bomb shatters the office, and both Nuri and Rocco are missing. As the movie excellently shows the pain of Katja who is increasingly going into meltdown. Later the bodies are identified through DNA analysis to be her husband and son. The police try to connect the murder to the past of Nuri’s life. They think that maybe some drug dealer who wanted to revenge bombed the place. Katja, however, is convinced that it is the work of Neo-Nazi and because of Nuri being a Turkish. Actress Diana Kruger brilliantly performs as a distraught woman who just lost her child and husband while showing fierce inner strength.
​ Katja is sure Nuri would never do anything that would put his family in danger and thus rejects the ideas of the police. She then remembers a woman she saw while dropping Rocco who hadn’t chained her bike despite being new. Her suspicions turn out to be true, and the woman and her husband are arrested. They turn out to be Neo-Nazi who have international connections and a tremendous amount of money. The murderers are defended by a shrewd attorney, and Katja has to face court to prove that the couple is guilty.
The courtroom scene is brilliantly shown in black and white. Despite doing everything, the Neo-Nazi couple is declared innocent and with the help of the attorney and some heavy dialogue the scene feels like all too realistic compared to reality. Katja is for whom the boundary of justice and revenge becomes non-existant decides she should take matters into her hand. The ending of the movie is left open for discussion and interpretations.
​ In the Fade is related to many incidents that happen all around the world. The movie illustrates the effect of terrorism and hates crime against a specific race of culture. The protagonist’s son and husband are killed because of their Turkish origins. The movie also portrays the extremist group Neo-Nazis.


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