Co-Writer – Hark Bohm
Producers – Nurhan Şekerci-Porst, Fatih Akin, Herman Weigel
Director of Photography – Rainer Klausmann (BVK)
Original Score – Joshua Homme
Starring: Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto, Johannes Krisch, Samia Chancrin, Numan Acar, Ulrich Tukur, Rafael Santana, Hanna Hilsdorf, Ulrich Friedrich Brandhoff, Hartmut Loth, Ioannis Economides, Karin Neuhauser, Uwe Rohde Ali, Asim Demirel, Aysel Iscan.
Winner Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globes
Winner Best Actress Cannes Film Festival
Director Fatih Akin collaborated with co-writer Hark Bohm to create, In The Fade after watching court proceedings against the National Socialist Underground (NSU): a far-right terror cell who allegedly murdered ten people and carried out two bombings in Germany between 2000 and 2007 for no other reason but for the victims having a non-German background. The NSU were also thought to have detonated a nail bomb, injuring 22 people in a Turkish neighbourhood in Cologne in June 2004. See article here: NSU Trial
Based on the truth of these racially motivated murders, In The Fade shows the crushing loss of Katja (Diane Kruger) when her husband, Nuri Şekerci (Numan Acar) and son Rocco (Rafael Santana) are blown to pieces in a bomb blast planted in a high density Turkish area in Germany.
Set in three parts: Family, Justice and The Sea, we follow Katja as she grieves her family including the court case against the accused, a neo-Nazi husband and wife, as the horrific detail of the nail bomb is explained as evidence, to Greece where Katja revisits the memory of her family when they visit the sea-side: a fitting place to seek justice in the stunning conclusion where the audience is left speechless.
This is a powerful film that begins quietly, the evocative soundtrack used sparingly with music from the radio to the sound of rain falling, to build as the film nears its end.
I felt every step of this film from the hand-held footage of Katja and Nuri getting married while he was in jail, to Katja’s relationship with her sister and mother and in-laws; all the relationships and intense grief shown with a powerful performance from Diane Kruger.
The audience is able to bare and feel Katja coping with the loss because the story is sincere and told through the reflection of rain running down windows reflected onto her face like tears; through the pain of a tattooist’ needle unable to register through the pain of reliving the death of a son while the killers sit in the same court room. But the real emotion comes from the happy moments, seeing Katja relive what has been lost. Watching the family laughing on a recording on her phone – those are the moments that get you.
This is the reason I review films: to be exposed to movies I wouldn’t otherwise watch because I know it’s going to be confronting. And, In The Fade is filled with rain and tears and loss but there’s also a powerfully gripping story here, beautifully told.