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Auf Einmal (All of a Sudden)

Anna looks sad. The party guests have left and she is alone with Karsten (Sebastian Hülk) in his apartment. He is drawn to her melancholy. Karsten could not have foreseen that this short encounter will change his life. When the night is over he has become a person to be doubted, to be mistrusted. He is a righteous person and only wanted to do the “right” thing. His girlfriend (Julia Jentsch), returning from a business trip, feels estranged, friends start behaving edgy in his presence. He is the son of a well-established family and has become “talk of the town”. He is frustrated, feels misunderstood and caged-in. He reacts by scrutinizing his own parents, challenging his friends. Who brought Anna to the party, where did she come from? Karsten feels wronged and angry. Eventually, any accusation against him is lifted. This only eggs him on to find out the truth. He seeks revenge. Scrupulously he forces his boss, who had him downgraded, to elevate him to the top ranks of the company. Everyone is now applauding the smart and successful young man. Having witnessed his recent ruthless behavior one can only imagine what a tough and unforgiving person he has become.

This well produced psycho-thriller develops slowly, with Karsten as the centre. All other protagonists rotate around him, letting us guess their motives. A melancholic atmosphere is added with beautiful autumn landscapes and scenes in muted colors (camera: Emre Erkmen).

Auf Einmal is director Asli Özge's first German film. After her studies in her hometown Istanbul, her film Men on the Bridge premiered at Locarno in 2009, where it received an award as Best Turkish Film, followed by Lifelong at the Berlinale Panorama Special in 2013. (Birgit Schrumpf)

 

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