113 minutes, Germany, 2011, Subtitled, Colour, Anamorphic, Dolby Digital Stereo, 35mm

Young director Christian Schwochow, who impressed with his graduation film November Child (Novemberkind, 2007), delivers on that promise with this powerful psychodrama about a distraught drama student who’s described by her teacher as being ‘invisible’ on stage before she’s chosen by a notoriously demanding director to play the coveted role of Camille in his new production. Fellow students and teachers are stunned that the seemingly insecure and mousey Fine (Danish actress Stine Fischer Christensen) should land the part, but it’s precisely her highly-strung and vulnerable nature that the Svengali-like director hopes to exploit to their mutual benefit.

There are strong similarities with Black Swan, but Schwochow’s film was completed before the release of Darren Aronofsky’s celebrated psychosexual drama. Schwochow is interested in exploring the sometimes dangerous personal demands required for a great performance, and in Christensen he has an actress with the courage to push the boundaries. 

Showing as part of German Film Week, presented in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut Irland.

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