Amnesia | Chicago Reader

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96 minutes · 2015

Swiss writer-director Barbet Schroeder, best known in the U.S. for his Hollywood thrillers Reversal of Fortune (1990) and Single White Female (1992), delivers a personal film based on the life of his mother, a German expatriate so repulsed by the Holocaust that she completely rejected her native language and culture. The lanky, 70-year-old heroine (Marthe Keller) lives in a dazzling white villa on the Ibizan coast, where she meets and instantly connects with a handsome young club DJ (Max Riemelt) newly arrived from Germany. The year is 1990 and the Berlin Wall has just come down, but the old woman hasn't set foot in the fatherland since 1936, when she was 16 and emigrated to Switzerland with her mother and the mom's Jewish lover. Eventually the DJ's mother (Corinna Kirchhoff) and grandfather (Bruno Ganz) arrive for a visit, and before long they're all arguing about who's responsible for the death camps. The title refers to the characters' relationship with the past but also to a hot dance club (where the beat hits you over the head). In English and subtitled French, German, Spanish, and Russian.

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