Katja’s life falls apart in the blink of an eye when neo-Nazis kill her Turkish husband and 6-year-old son in a bomb attack. The police investigation into their murders often seems more concerned with her husband’s shady past than in catching his killers. When the suspects are finally apprehended and put on trial, the pressure pushes Katja (Diane Kruger) to the edge of her limits.
This unforgettable thriller is written and directed by leading Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin (Head-On, Crossing the Bridge) and is inspired by the true story of neo-Nazi attacks in Germany. Between 2000 and 2007, eight Turks were murdered, but the media and authorities preferred to present their cases in terms of ethnic stereotypes.
The suspects were dubbed “kebab killers”, wrongly assumed to be Turkish or Kurdish mafia targeting victims caught up in their own seedy underworld, even though there was significant evidence and intelligence pointing to the far-right’s involvement. A chance police discovery of the actual killers came in 2011 following a bungled bank robbery, which identified the neo-Nazi cell that committed the murders and other crimes.
Akin shares his community’s rage at the huge police incompetence, and also draws on his personal experiences of racism in Germany in crafting this powerful drama. His casting of Kruger, a tall blond German goddess, is vital, moving the story beyond its ethnic minority roots.
In The Fade won the Golden Globe Best Foreign Language winner, while Diane Kruger, who is electric on screen, was awarded Best Actress when the film debuted at Cannes last year. The film, in German with English sub-titles, opens in UK cinemas on 22 June.