It is odd that actress Diane Kruger has waited until now to do her first movie in her native German language. It, however, has proved to have been well worth the wait with her powerhouse performance in Faith Akin’s exacting thriller In The Fade which landed her a Best Actress Award at Cannes, and the film a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
The story kicks off when bohemian scruffy Katya (Kruger) is marrying convicted drug dealer Nuri Şekerci (Numan Acar) in jail whom she had first met when she was a student buying some ‘weed’ from him.
Flash forward a few years, and the couple has a 6-year-old son and settled into domesticity in Hamburg where Nuri runs a travel agency for which Katya does the books. One day she drops the child off with Nuri so she can go to the spa with her best friend Brigit (Samia Chancrin). When she returns in the evening Katya finds the whole area blocked off and filled with policemen as Nuri’s store has been bombed and he and the kid have been killed.
A distraught and anguished Katya has to now deal with two sets of resentful parents who had been against the marriage in the first place, and a police force who are determined to prove that Nuri had gone back to drug dealing and had been killed because of it. Her own suspicion that it had been the work of Nazi sympathizers was born out when the Police eventually arrested a pair of them and charged them with murder.
However, with a fake alibi that was good enough to raise a reasonable doubt about their guilt, the pair were reluctantly freed by the Judges. It was then a very determined Katya decided to seek revenge and take the matter into her own hands resulting in a very dramatic finale that no-one could have predicted.
German filmmaker Akin of Turkish descent has written and directed this very relevant and excellent expose of xenophobia which sadly is not just a German issue these days. By telling his story as a fast-paced thriller he has made the movie so very enthralling that the message of hate and its consequences will now reach a far greater audience.
Kruger’s steely performance as the distraught and determined widow is so thoroughly compelling and is easily her career best so far.