By Hemanth Kissoon
I’ve called this piece Dreileben, but I’m actually going to talk about the three films that make up the project:
- Dreileben 1: Beats Being Dead
- Dreileben 2: Don’t Follow Me Around
- Dreileben 3: One Minute of Darkness
Two and Three are not sequels in the traditional sense. The three are in the vein of Rashomon – overlapping stories from different perspectives, but not of the same event, instead about the same area. Each stands on its compelling own, but taken as a whole create a fantastic trilogy.
Dreileben 1: Beats Being Dead
Opening in a hospital, Johannes (Jacob Matschenz) works as a nurse while studying for an exam to be able to go to Los Angeles. He appears to be into the boss’s daughter. At the same a murderer, Molesch, escapes and is on the run in the picturesque local area. The area is made to look very pretty with the bright, sharp cinematography, but the atmosphere grows increasingly ominous as the community appears to be sparsely inhabited and surrounded by woodland. Getting hit in the face by a biker adds to the undercurrent of violence. Contrasting this is a burgeoning romance with the striking Ana (Luna Mijovic), a hotel maid. It is a whirlwind affair and seems like it could have a positive impact on both participants.
The movie is sexy with an eerie edge, and unpredictable – like all three parts, which is so refreshing.
Dreileben 2: Don’t Follow Me Around
Dialogue heavy, especially around food and meals, the focus is on Johanna (Jeanette Hain), a psychologist brought into help the police catch Molesch. She causes waves without seeming to mean to, or does she? Johanna is an intriguing woman. Due to a hotel mix up she stays at her friend Vera’s, triggering conversations about a mutual love from their past. The interchanges are gripping; you are forced to catch up and re-evaluate what was heard earlier in the light of new revelations. The cinematography is less crisp and the camera-work is sometimes more stylised with a recurring sweep. So, compelling again, but in a different way.
Dreileben 3: One Minute of Darkness
The final part ties together everything in a very moving and unexpected way. We primarily walk in the shoes of Molesch (Stefan Kurt), and bright, but ill, cop Marcus (Eberhard Kirchberg). We actually know the former’s fate at the end of Part Two, and ostensibly that revelation might have reduced the tension – instead the unfolding events create an unusual anticipation. The filmmakers here really use the open spaces well, as Molesch, who seems mentally ill, proves to be very resourceful. The tone is that of an art-house chase movie. By the time the credits roll there is a quiet devastation, with the fallout and repercussions wide-ranging. A hugely impressive project about relationships, and the things outside of our knowledge, in the context of an escaped convict.