Berlin Syndrome: 'It's so quiet'

Title:
Berlin Syndrome: 'It's so quiet'
NFSA ID
1480732
Year
2017
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An Australian-French psychological thriller set in Germany, Berlin Syndrome is Cate Shortland's third feature film. In this clip Clare Havel (Teresa Palmer), an Australian backpacker travelling in Germany, meets Berlin local Andi (Max Riemelt).

The pair's chemistry is central to the film and is palpable in this scene. Teresa and Max's nuanced performances are compelling - drawing us into the action - particularly in the moment where Andi grabs Clare's throat and we see a flash of desire and a flicker of fear in her. The title's reference to Stockholm Syndrome makes sense when Andi goes on to imprison Clare in his flat after a one-night-stand.

Under Shortland's direction Max's performance alternates between boyish charm, as we see here, and controlling sociopath, making it impossible to look away.

Shortland skillfully builds tension in this scene giving us clues that something isn't right - from the claustrophobic soundtrack (creeking doors, animal cries and tunnel noises) to Bryony Marks' subtle, eery musical score.

As with all of Shortland's work, every department works together beautifully to build a visual and sonic mood. Melinda Doring's production design deliberately situates us in a haunted and dark take on former-East Germany. 

The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema (Dramatic) along with 8 AACTA Award nominations. Marks' soundtrack won a Film Critics Circle of Australia award for best original score.