Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Con The Messenger: Lies Of The Victors Newsroom Noir Movie Review
There's a lot more going on than just the ongoing dictates of the European Union's major players, Germany and others, to further entrench the debt servitude of Greece and other resistant countries. And the German newsroom noir Lies Of The Victors [ Die Luegen der Sieger] dramatically delves into just that, venturing into the murky depths of multinational corporate control over just about everything from the political to personal these days.
Florian David Fitz is Fabian, a hotshot reporter with both diabetic and gambling issues, at the Berlin muckraking rag, Die Woche [The Week]. Fabian is sent to probe the investigative case of German veterans among the Coalition troops in Afghanistan, who seem to be succumbing to psychiatric ailments that are suspected of being precipitated by toxic waste questionably handled by the army there.
At the same time, he's annoyed when suddenly assigned a mysterious young intern, an overzealous female Fabian assigns to a tabloid news story to hopefully be rid of her. The sensationalistic item involves an army veteran who climbs into a lion's cage at the local zoo, with the seeming enthusiastic intention of getting mauled to death.
And in a bizarre sequence of coincidental circumstances, the international toxic waste probe, that veteran insanity in question, devious EU lobbyists, mystery whistleblowers, dubious waste disposal capitalists and suspect news editors all appear to converge in an exceedingly sinister way. Or do they?
Lies of The Victors, directed by Christoph Hochhausler [The City Below], skillfully reinvents conventional noir unconventionally as a New World Order toxic malady in its own right, intent on redeeming the dismissive notion of paranoid thinking in the here and now. But the dense narrative is often too convoluted for its own good, compromising suspense for spectator head scratching, thus nearly as confounding for the audience as the exceedingly puzzled protagonist in question.
There's also the questionable issue of equal opportunity villain plot points kicking in, which intimate accusations suspecting oligarchs and whistleblowers alike. And though such subversive scenarios may be the actual scripted concoctions of the rich who control everything in the real world, the notion of betrayal even by those seeming to valiantly oppose the way things are, not only deflates the proceedings to a level of immense cynicism without hope. But raises the question as to what extent the filmmaker himself was willing to risk challenging the status quo abuse of power in the real world. Or not.
And in several rather unusual injected sidebars, Humphrey Bogart and Lawrence Ferlinghetti turn up. Specifically in the case of the Ferlinghetti, his postscripted poetry in Lies Of The Victors:
History is made
of the lies of the victors
but you would never dream it
from the covers of the textbooks...
Lies Of The Victors [ Die Luegen der Sieger] is a feature of the KINO! 2015 Festival Of German Films, taking place at the Cinema Village in New York City through April 16th. The Festival will showcase ten feature films, along with German Short Film Night.
KINO! 2015 is organized by German Films, with the participation of the Goethe-Institut New York, Deutsches Haus at New York University and The Village Voice.
Information about Kino! 2015 is online at: www.kinofestivalnyc.com.