by Haro Senft
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Daniel is a Marxist and does odd jobs out of conviction. Under questioning by a public prosecutor about a homicide, he is initially reluctant to provide information. After witnessing a kidnapping, he went to the police. When they did not seem interested in following up, he made contact with people in the milieu of the victim, an opposition politician from the Middle East. But the question is, how altruistic and empathetic really is Daniel’s increasing militant involvement in freeing the victim, given that he has begun an affair with the man’s girlfriend… At the core of this psychological thriller is a moral discourse on responsibility and guilt. The colourful depiction of Munich’s establishment in Purgatory is interspersed with scientific close-ups and grizzly images from animal husbandry and war, which suggest the dubiousness of a detached “niche existence” in the allegedly responsibility-free republic of West Germany. At the same time, Daniel’s interrogation becomes an uncomfortable self-examination, during which his attempt to justify his behaviour leads to a torturous catharsis for the protagonist.

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