|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Production country:||Deutschland 2014|
|Running time:||Ca. 95 min.|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
Catholic priest Jakob Völz (Sebastian Blomberg) worked for four years as a prison chaplain. But now it is time for a new challenge, which Jacob wants to face in a few weeks. It is an exciting time in which he finds special support with his fellow priests Dominik (Kai Schumann) and Oliver (Jan Messutat). So immediately before his professional advancement, Jacob is convinced that his faith and close fellowship with his friends will help him make a difference in the Catholic Church. But then the incomprehensible happens: Dominik of all people is arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse. Of course Jakob is convinced that his friend is innocent. But when he meets the alleged victim and his mother (Sandra Borgmann), the first doubts grow in him. Torn between his loyalty to his friend and to the Church and his sense of justice, Jacob begins to ask unpleasant questions. The answers, however, put his faith to a very hard test...
With the drama "Misconduct" director Gerd Schneider has made use of an extremely difficult and explosive topic, which he has implemented with oppressive intensity. In doing so, he deliberately avoids great moments of shock and an overly striking reappraisal of the events. Rather, he draws the audience into his spell through a depressing atmosphere of helplessness and creates enormous tension with conscious restraint. The dichotomy that Jacob experiences is also felt as an observer, with initial doubts turning into unbelieving rage until the end. What is pleasant, however, is that Schneider does not fall into a general condemnation of the church, but tries as neutrally as possible to show how complex the processes are that are perceived by outsiders as a collective cover-up. He tries to fathom why it can be that enormous crimes like abuse are hushed up by the church. Achieving this without excusing these events is the great feat of this drama.
"Misconduct" is not only written and staged in a first-class manner, but also very well played. Sebastian Blomberg in particular, as a priest shaken in his faith, is beyond all doubt. His intense play makes clear how the conflict of faith and loyalty against the sense of justice can lead to a paralyzing speechlessness. Jakob gives the viewer a glimpse of the events from the inner structure of the church, which not only makes this film enormously important, but also tremendously stirring.
There is no question that abuse is condemned in any form. Nevertheless, "misconduct" is not a film against the Church, which was also confirmed by representatives of the Catholic Church present at the press screening. Gerd Schneider's drama stimulates discussions that should be conducted both inside and outside the church. The film is not a light fare, not a relaxing entertainment film. It is a work that does not only challenge the viewer emotionally. This could make it difficult for him to reach the broad audience he deserved. But if you want to get to grips with this difficult topic and see how you can tell such a story in a completely unplaque, but nevertheless thrilling and effective way, you shouldn't miss this intensive piece of German acting cinema. Worth seeing
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp