121 minutes| Austria| 2008| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema Notes by Trevor Johnston

This film was released 30th April 2010 and is no longer screening.

The heist thriller gets a potent re-imagining in this tense and uncommonly thoughtful saga of interwoven lives.

In his native Austria, former playwright Gotz Spielmann is spoken of in the same breath as Michael Haneke, and on this evidence (nominated for last year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar) he matches Haneke’s steely control with an abiding humanity, and indeed a spiritual element lingering just below the surface. The outline’s familiar: an ex-con seeking a better life for his lap-dancer girlfriend plans to knock over a bank in a small town, where a nervy cop’s seemingly happy marriage has its underlying stresses. Hollywood would have made it pumped-up and crass, yet Spielmann approaches its characters as real people with real problems rather than pawns in a plot – and still ratchets up the tension. Fateful chance and moral dilemmas both play their part, while the still calm of the alpine landscape reminds us of an even higher power at work.

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