Saturday, October 12, 2013

"Antibodies": A German thriller echoing "Silence of the Lambs"

Antibodies” (“Antikorper”, 2005), by Christian Alvart, shows that conservative Catholicism and Old Testament fundamentalism is alive in some rural areas of Germany, which is supposed to have cleaned itself of right-wing attitudes.  The film starts with some Biblical quotes about how life cannot be fair, and ends with a father, a policeman Michael Martens (Wotan Wile Mohring).  At the end, he recreates the sacrifice of his tween son, whom he suspects of having become a depraved serial killer, but, his worst suspicions may, by the breath of God, be wrong after all.
  
In a film that echoes “The Silence of the Lambs” and anticipates “Prisoners” (Sept. 25, 2013), the cop is manipulated by a captured serial killer Gabriel Engel (Andre Hennicke), as one particular case remains unsolved.  The cop has to go back into his own background, his own fantasies, and his own practice in raising his son, and accept the horrific possibility that the guilt is within.

There is, near the end, a scene involving the son and a girl in a barn, and the girl makes an odd remark about the apparent immaturity of the teen's body, a rather unusual occurrence in film. 
    
This is a well-made thriller, and long (127 minutes) and rather expansive (some great Bavarian cliffs and mountains at the end).  It’s brutality may have deterred major distributors in the US, as it was released in 2007 by Dark Sky (by Tartan in the UK). 
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I watched the DVD from Netflix.  It did not offer Instant Play.   

Picture: a fundamentalist church in rural NC (2013).  

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