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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE NARRATIVE

THE FREE WILL

TFF 2006 Directed by Matthias Glasner
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE THE FREE WILL [TFF 2006]

Matthias Glasner has created an unflinching and at times brutal drama that profiles one of the most complex characters to recently come to the screen: Theo, a convicted rapist. Theo's vicious tendencies are revealed in the first few minutes of the film, as the audience witnesses him attacking an unsuspecting victim. The crime leads to Theo's incarceration in a psychiatric detention center, and after a nine-year sentence he is released into the care of a halfway house in order to begins his reintegration into society. He works hard to adjust to life on the outside, eventually acquiring a position at a print shop. It is there that he meets Nettie, the owner's daughter, with whom he forms a tenuous friendship. Abused by her father, Nettie is finally moving away from home at the age of 27. When she goes to Belgium for an internship, Theo follows her, and their bond becomes increasingly intense and complex. At its core, this is an atypical love story about an abuser and a woman who has been abused. The two leads, Jürgen Vogel (also a coscreenwriter) and Sabine Timoteo, deliver brave, bold performances, and the sensational aspects of the plot are balanced by grounded, fully developed characters who struggle with their own private demons while engaging in a very complex relationship.

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Matthias Glasner has created an unflinching and at times brutal drama that profiles one of the most complex characters to recently come to the screen: Theo, a convicted rapist. Theo's vicious tendencies are revealed in the first few minutes of the film, as the audience witnesses him attacking an unsuspecting victim. The crime leads to Theo's incarceration in a psychiatric detention center, and after a nine-year sentence he is released into the care of a halfway house in order to begins his reintegration into society. He works hard to adjust to life on the outside, eventually acquiring a position at a print shop. It is there that he meets Nettie, the owner's daughter, with whom he forms a tenuous friendship. Abused by her father, Nettie is finally moving away from home at the age of 27. When she goes to Belgium for an internship, Theo follows her, and their bond becomes increasingly intense and complex. At its core, this is an atypical love story about an abuser and a woman who has been abused. The two leads, Jürgen Vogel (also a coscreenwriter) and Sabine Timoteo, deliver brave, bold performances, and the sensational aspects of the plot are balanced by grounded, fully developed characters who struggle with their own private demons while engaging in a very complex relationship.

Film Information
Year: 2006
Length: 163 minutes
Language: German, French
Country: Germany
Premiere: North American
About the Director(s)

Matthias Glasner was born in 1965. In 1993, he founded Jack Film & Music Productions with Bernd Medek and produced Die Mediocren in 1995. He then founded Schwarzweiss Film Productions with Juergen Vogel for future projects. His previous films include Sexy Sadie (1996) and Fandango (1999), among others.

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