In The Fade - A Powerful Tour de Force Film, Captivating, Challenging

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In The Fade, from Magnolia Pictures, brings to the screen the story of love, inconsolable loss, the manifestation of hate in a modern world, helplessness when the system fails, passion, revenge, desire and immeasurable and profound grief.

Directed by Fatih Akin, In The Fade stars Diane Kruger as Katja Sekerci, Numan Acar as Nuri Sekerci, Rafael Santana as Rocco Sekerci,  Sami Chancrin as Brigit, Denis Mochitto as Danilo Fava with Johannes Krisch as Haberbeck and Ulrich Tukur as Jurgen Moller, Ulrich Brandhoff as Andre Moller and Hanna Hilsdorf as Edda Moller.

In The Fade begins with a jailhouse marriage for Katja and Nuri Sekerci, who is serving four years on a Hashish Trafficking conviction. Without background we can see they have been "married" for some time as each, when it comes time to present the rings, have tattooed symbolic rings.

An immediate fast forward brings us seven years ahead. Nuri is the model of rehabilitation, no longer trafficking he studied Business Administration in prison and has a tax service that caters to the new wave of immigrants.


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Still as in love as the giddy day when they married, Katja and Nuri now have Rocco, a bespectacled adorable curly haired charming, violin playing, child of five, whom we meet for just a moment as Katja drops him off at Nuri's office for the afternoon so she can spend the day with Brigit, her dearest friend.

The day at the Hamburg Spa, is just what the doctor ordered for the two women and they spend the afternoon free of care.

Katja promised Nuri should would be back by 7:00pm to pick them up. So after dropping off Brigit she is making her way back to the office, when the blue lights of emergency vehicles begin to reflect in the windshield. Trying to find out what happened, she is briefly told of an explosion. Unable to be restrained she jumps out of the car and runs toward the bombed out building.

The police take her to a victim evacuation shelter where she is looking for Nuri and Rocco, when a detective comes in and explains there were fatalities, a man and a child. It is at this point Katja break down, releasing a deep, anguished cry, from the depths of her being, which translate with equal intenisty on screen.

The police need DNA to positively identify the victims and of course by this time, her parents and his parents along with Brigit are all waiting for the results. The DNA test comes back positive and for no apparent reason Katja's life is ripped from her.

The detective who is leading the investigation begins to ask her the usual questions, attempting to blame the victim for their own murder, until he explains "a bomb was planted outside your husband's office, we have to assume he was the target." Did you see anything?

Katja remembers talking to a girl, a non-descript German, whom we later find out was Edda Moller, played by Hanna Hilsdorf, and a bike, with a hard case on the back. She remembers she said, "better lock it up or else it will get stolen" and the girl replied, "I'll be right back."  

In The Fade is a stunning portrayal of modern hate crimes and the terrorism faced every day in European cities throughout the world. For no apparent reason other than race, religion or ethnicity a terrorist fanatic decides to set off a bomb murdering as many as possible ripping loved ones away in horrific seconds of unbelievable agony.

In The Fade is divided in three acts which each subsequent act portraying moments of incredible truth and deep cutting pain. The courtroom scene where the forensic analysis is presented and the witness is explaining the wounds a nail shrapnel bomb inflicts. In this scene the evidence being presenting is of the multination of Rocco, her child, from the bomb.

Throughout the film there are moments of impacting, incredible truth. Truth that dead ends you. This scene is also one of those, once we realize these wounds are common and probably normal for victims of these types of crimes. It was momentarily incapacitating.

Diane Kruger gives a powerhouse, tour de force performance as the grieving widow. She brings to the screen a depth of emotion that is haunting and heartfelt. It has been some time since there has been a performance of this magnitude and force. It is a performance the grips the soul.

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Of course there would not be the dynamic acting of Ms. Kruger without the performances of the castmates. The remainder of the cast are well known European talent. They all deserve recognition for an incredible portrayals and even the crew assisted in creating perfection.

Already an award winning film In The Fade, selected to compete for the prestigious Palm d'Or in the main competition at Cannes, propelled Ms. Kruger into the Academy Award race with her Best Actress win.

If you only see one foreign film this year see this one. Diane Kruger's performance is brilliant and challenging. She is an unexpected surprise in the Academy Awards race.

In The Fade is a powerful film; resonating deep and for days after. The truth, of course, is reality often mirrors the film's storyline with gut-wrenching devastation and loss followed by abuse and mistreated by the system, technicalities and the void. We rarely hear of choices, by survivors, made in the void for some reason they seem to withstand the desire to retaliate and twist themselves out of the grasp of self-injury.

If there were one criticism it would be showing the ease in which fertilizer bombs can be made. The scene could be in any kitchen, in any city, anywhere. The cake like batter is mixed in a pressure cooker pot, a locked lid, a few wires, and devastation, insidious hatred is created.

In The Fade opens in theaters October 19, 2017. In German/English with subtitles. A must see film.

Images courtesy of In The Fade IMDB.

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