Fatih Akin’s In the fade is finally out in Montreal. Germany’s submission for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category (it didn’t make it to the final happy five) gathered the Best Actress award for Diane Kruger’s performance, as Katja, at the Cannes Film Festival where it was in the Official Competition.
Katja’s family falls victim of a terrorist attack. While the police goes for nowadays ‘usual suspects’, in their inquiries, because she married a German of Turkish-Kurd ancestry, she is convince that the crime was perpetrated by a group of white supremacists. Starting to understand justice won’t come her way, she plans for a vengeance.
The good part:
The treatment in reverse, as this time the terrorists of the right wing movements are under scrutiny is a take on a contemporary subject that is of interest. As usual Akin (who directed the celebrated Soul Kitchen and Head-On) provides a good pace between drama and cinema for the masses. Diane Kruger’s recognition at Cannes has its merits, she is pretty convincing as much as a victim as she is still convincing when she turns to vengeance in the second part.
The lesser good:
Following the first showings, the director said in interviews that for dramatic purpose he tried to avoid following the ways of the Korean style vengeance films, although he loved them. But, although we also love them, and Akin made the right choice, In the Fade is still not detached enough from your basic vengeance flicks for its own good. There is two films and they don’t fully come together. Curiously it reminded me of the genesis of 1971’s Eastwood vehicle and cult item, Dirty Harry. Siegel’s action film was an entertaining easy response to real life unsolved case of the Zodiac killer, dubbed the Scorpio Killer. In Akin’s movie, the aftermath of the dramatic premises turns out to be not more than a vengeance-feel good movie playing with our primal fear of the Alt right and our taste for basic revenge. Let’s beat some Nazis, go and get them Katja!
It may not be such a bad idea, but by stating and illustrating, in very obvious manners, such a complex subject matter with an underdeveloped script, In the Fade mainly misses whatever it is trying to describe or analyze and it becomes highly predictable if entertaining.