Thursday, September 17, 2009

Es kommt der Tag (The Day Will Come)

Showing at the Toronto International Film Festival: The Day Will Come, directed by Susanne Schneider

Synopsis from the TIFF website:

The legacy of terrorism is on the minds of a number of filmmakers this year, and with The Day Will Come, Susanne Schneider does a superb job of detailing the impact that youthful decisions can have on people's lives decades later. In her intimate, powerfully acted and extremely well-written film, Schneider focuses her narrative on two women from different generations whose lives are inextricably linked together.

The Day Will Come centres on a mysterious young woman (Katharine Schüttler) who equally mysteriously arrives on the doorstep of a family of complete strangers. She has had a small incident with her car and needs a place to stay for the night. Living in the countryside in a homey, rambling farmhouse with an underproducing vineyard, Judith (Iris Berben), her husband and their two teenaged children open their doors to the stranger. Little do they know how their lives will be completely and utterly changed.

Judith has a secret from many, many years ago that this stranger is committed to exposing. Slowly but surely, the truth begins to emerge, a past that has been swept under the carpet in a very successful attempt to create a new life.

It would be unfair to detail any more of the plot of this finely judged film. The beautifully honed performances of the two female leads become increasingly intense and harrowing as the story unwinds, and the fine secondary roles act as a subtle counterpoint to the main drama. Set in Alsace-Lorraine, a place where French and German mingle and blend but where history can never be fully forgotten, The Day Will Come evokes the complex masterpieces of Margarethe von Trotta's early work. As Schneider fully understands, the past never disappears; it reappears at unexpected times in unexpected ways. Her film is unflinching in its gaze and direct in its emotional connection.

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