Reviews and reports from SXSW Film and Interactive 05
D: Hans Weingartner; with Daniel Brühl, Julia Jentsch, Stipe Erceg, Burghardt Klaußner
Narrative Feature SpotlightWhile Berlin sleeps, Jan (Brühl) and Peter (Erceg) stick it to the man by breaking into the mansions of capitalist swine and repositioning their furniture and bric-a-brac. By day they spout anarchist bromides ("Fucking petty bourgeois values!" one translates from the original German). Enter Jule (Jentsch), Peter's girlfriend, who makes it personal by targeting a certain capitalist swine (Klaußner) from her past. And from there the film becomes an agitprop parlor comedy set in a cabin in the Alps. Strange stuff, and Weingartner has the film on a long leash; sometimes it pauses to sniff a tree. On paper the story sounds farcical and it sort of is but the film is as much an examination of the (im)possibilities of idealism as it is a caper comedy, without stepping fully into the realm of satire (as in Luis Buuel's Viridiana). It's stilted at times, but the film has a loose-limbed charm and ties up satisfactorily in the third act.