the Fade” (“Aus dem Nichts”)
We Americans aren’t the only ones with alt-right groups.
We aren’t the only ones with immigrant populations that are
perceived as threats to a former hegemony.
We aren’t the only ones with an embarrassing history of racism,
and systematic oppression of minority groups.
We aren’t the only ones who wonder if we can ever learn to just
Katja Sekerci (Diane Kruger) is a German Mom with a Kurdish
husband, Nuri, and together they have a son, Rocci.
Nuri is a travel agent and translator, mostly helping countrymen
with relatives still in Turkey. His
little storefront is in the “Turkish” section of Munich, where Katja
has just dropped off their little boy, on the way to a “spa day” with
her (pregnant) best friend. On
the way to her car, she happens to notice a young woman parking a new bike
by the curb without locking it, and she takes a moment to speak to the
stranger, who turns to look at her, but ignores her advice and walks
When Katja returns to the neighborhood that evening, she notices
the emergency vehicles, but doesn’t start becoming alarmed until they
tell her the area’s been cordoned off.
Then she hears there was an explosion.
She frantically runs through the police barricades, and gets just
far enough to fear the worst.
What follows is everyone’s horific nightmare: both her husband
and her son were killed. But
apparently no one else was injured, which makes the police think that her
husband must have been the target. Katja
is so devastated that she accepts some “recreational drugs” from her
lawyer-friend (he says they were gifts from clients).
Just to deal with the emotional pain.
But she has obviously used before.
In fact, we later find out this is how she met her husband:
she bought grass from him at the University.
Later, we learn that he was imprisoned for drug dealing, and of
course the police first suspect a drug deal gone sour.
Until the evidence suggests otherwise.
Remember the young woman who left the bike at the curb?
Was that a bomb she left with her bicycle?
She and her husband go on trial, and Katja is convinced they are
guilty, but the court says there’s not enough evidence.
Now Katja is really in a dark place.
Family’s not much help; his leaves and hers blames his.
Her best friend has just had a baby, and Katja can hardly stand
being around such unfettered happiness.
She’s lost and alone. On
a whim, she decides to go to the same Greek seaside villa that the bombers
claim to have been at the critical moment (collaborated by a neo-Nazi
friend). There, she confronts
her darkest impulses.
No, the neo-Nazis aren’t yet prepared to take over Germany, as
they did in the 1930’s. But
xenophobia lives in every era. And
sadly, we aren’t the only ones.