May 15, 2009
Studio: Cinema Guild
Director: Christian Petzold
MPAA Rating: N/A
Screenwriter: Christian Petzold
Starring: Nina Hoss, Brenno Fürmann, Hilmi Sozer
Copyright Holder: N/A
"Jerichow" was inspired by a news story Christian Petzold read while filming "Yella" in the former East Germany. Jerichow, a small town in northeastern Germany, an impoverished region where few jobs are to be had, an area of crisscrossing highways, deep forests, and cliffs that fall sharply into the sea, is the setting for an unfolding drama of three people who find themselves at a fortuitous crossroads. Following his mother's death, Thomas (Brenno Fürmann), a former soldier who has been dishonorably discharged from the army, returns to his hometown. He has inherited his mother's house and plans to renovate it and look for a job. One night, Thomas meets Ali (Hilmi Sözer), a Turkish immigrant who owns a chain of snack bars in the area. Always suspicious of the people who work for him, Ali takes an unusual liking to Thomas. He trusts him and offers him a job as his driver and assistant. Laura (Nina Hoss) is Ali's restless, beautiful wife. Thomas sees her whenever he drives his delivery truck to Ali's brick-fronted villa deep in the woods. She treats Thomas coolly, almost disdainfully. He's the driver her husband has chosen to befriend. And her husband is merely the man she kisses goodbye in the morning – a man who becomes frantic when he can't reach her on her cell phone. Thomas notices Laura and Ali's strained relationship. He watches them perform everyday rituals, like any married couple, but something doesn't seem right. One day, the three of them head to the beach. Thomas sits next to Laura, while Ali dances, drunken and absentmindedly, to the notes of a Turkish tune, unknowingly setting in motion a series of events that will change the course of their lives.