Tuesday, October 20, 2009

London Film Fest Day 7 - STORM

From Hans-Christian Schmidt and Bernd Lange, the director and writer of REQUIEM, comes a court-room drama with good intentions, but that plays like a TV drama. Kerry Fox stars as Hannah Maynard, an international criminal lawyer in The Hague, charged with bringing a Serbian nationalist to trial for war-crimes. When her original witness proves flaky, she digs deeper into the case and uncovers heinous crimes, as witnessed by Anamaria Marinca's Hannah Arendt. The rest of the film sees the lawyer try to persuade the Bosnian woman to put her new life in Berlin at risk and to rake over painful memories in order to see justice done. However, this is set in the context of deep political machinations involving the UN, The Hague and the EU. The Serbian general is now running for parliament and wants to cut a deal - moreover, the EU is keen to see his country have smooth accession talks. The resulting film is a well-acted solid piece of work. It has evidently been well-researched and is earnest. However, I felt that it's shooting style and production values were not really cinematic. Moreover, given its commitment to telling the unvarnished truth about realpolitik I was somewhat upset by a rather fairytale ending.

STORM played Berlin 2009 and opened in September in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

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