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Cultural and psychological tensions, claustrophobically observed in the workplace and at home, come to a head in Visar Morina’s enthralling thriller about one man’s identity crisis as a foreigner in Germany.
After a frustrating day of work, Kosovo-born pharmaceutical engineer Xhafer (Mišel Matičević, in a compelling performance) returns to his suburban home to find that someone has hung a dead rat at his front gate. The question of who did it and why slowly eats at him, forever altering his relationships at work and at home. But where he finds microaggressions, gaslighting and hatred at every turn, his German wife (Sandra Hüller, Toni Erdmann) sees only paranoia and honest misunderstandings. As it becomes clear Xhafer is no innocent himself, the line between real and imagined slights blurs...
Combining subtle images that gradually shift according to his protagonist’s state with meticulous performances from his ensemble, Morina’s masterclass in sustained discomfort explores the importance of personality when integrating into another society, and how quickly cracks can develop in the supposedly firm construct that is identity.
OFFICIAL SELECTION (KOSOVO): 2021 Academy Awards
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Berlin International Film Festival 2020
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Sundance Film Festival 2020
WINNER: Cineuropa Prize for Best European Film, Sarajevo Film Festival 2020
WINNER: Best Screenplay, Auteur Film Festival, Serbia 2020.
WINNER: Best Film, Best Actor, Guenter Rohrbach Filmpreis 2020.
WINNER: Special Mention, Trieste Film Festival 2021.