Markus Schleinzer documents the life and times of a pedophile


© 2011 NGF

Director: Markus Schleinzer
Starring: Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain

With his rollneck jumper, spectacles and close-cropped, receding hairline, there's little to distinguish mild-mannered accountant Michael (Michael Fuith) besides the boy he keeps locked up in the basement. Young Wolfgang (David Rachenberger) spends his days reading, playing with toys and writing letters to his parents, waiting until his captor invites him upstairs for a sit-down dinner. If he's lucky, he'll be allowed to watch TV; if he's unlucky, the older man will venture downstairs again later for something more sordid.

I'm still not sure if Markus Schleinzer's Michael is supposed to be a detailed character study or just a really black joke (the disco track that plays over the end credits suggests the latter). The daily routines of its eponymous protagonist and his victim are depicted in a fashion every bit as banal and methodical as Michael himself, where moments of high drama aren't afforded any more weight than scenes of household cleaning and decorating a Christmas tree. The whole thing is brilliantly played and all very clever, but Michael's carefully crafted sense of ironic distance ultimately becomes its undoing. It's a bold move to so unflinchingly depict the life of a pedophile; it'd be far bolder to make us care.

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By James Hadfield
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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