© Senator/Central

Die Tür (The Door)
Germany 2009

Opening 26 Nov 2009

Directed by: Anno Saul
Writing credits: Jan Berger, Akif Pirinçci
Principal actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Valeria Eisenbart, Heike Makatsch, Jessica Schwartz, Suzan Anbeh

On an idyllic summer day, instead of catching butterflies with his daughter Leonie (Valeria Eisenbart), self-absorbed in-vogue artist David Andernach (Mads Mikkelsen) crosses the street to his lover, Gia (Heike Makatsch). Satiated, he later returns and to his horror finds Leonie drowned in the backyard pool.

Cut: fast forward five years. On a cold winter’s night, David, tormented by guilt and a shadow of his former self, tries unsuccessfully to find closure with his now ex-wife Maja (Jessica Schwarz). She bluntly tells him to get out of her life. Even though she then sends their long-time friend Max (Tim Seyfi) to check on David, Max can not offer the absolution he craves. David leaves the bar dejected, stumbles on the snowy street and a seemingly frozen moth transforms into a blue butterfly that, with flight, necessitates his following to The Door. David crosses the portal and finds himself back on that idyllic summer day… only this time, nothing is as what it seems, and no one can be counted on.

This suspenseful thriller, without Anno Saul’s proficient direction, Jan Berger’s worthy screenplay based on Akif Pirinçci’s book Die Damalstür, and a great cast, could have lost its way. Instead, we are taken on an exploration into the concept of living parallel lives, future and present, and the consequences. Bella Halben’s camera, hand-held to empathize the characters emotions and pulled back so we do not miss the clues, is dead right. As is Börries Hahn-Hoffmann’s subtle production design, and Fabian Römer’s original music. This film coaxes us to suspend our disbelief in a most believable way. Would you go through The Door? Lose yourself in this illusional mind-twist; it is fiction at its best. (Marinell Haegelin)

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