Berlin Syndrome (15)

Oct 11, 2017
Cranbrook Film Society

“…dreamlike sense of place within a nightmare scenario in this taut and strongly acted thriller.”
– Roger Ebert reviews.

A young Australian photojournalist exploring Berlin meets a German teacher of English. A passionate liaison commences but gradually it becomes clear she is not meant to leave his apartment…ever!!

Cate Shortland | Australia | 2017 | 114 mins | 15


Based on the debut novel by Melanie Joosten, ‘Berlin Syndrome’ is a closely observed and gripping thriller revealing the power of obsession and the kaleidoscopic nature of human relationships.
While holidaying in Berlin, Australian photojournalist Clare meets Andi, a charismatic local man. There is instant attraction between them. Clare wakes the next morning in his apartment, but what follows would be any traveller’s nightmare!

Teresa Palmer (Clare) was discovered while working in Adelaide in a womens’ wear store, the Cotton On warehouse in Rundle Mall. She was cast on the spot without an audition in her feature film debut and breakthrough role in ‘2.37’ (2006) by first time writer/director/producer Murali K. Thalluri. Any budding actress’s dream! She describes acting in Berlin Syndrome as “one of the most transformational experiences of her life as well as the most liberating”…

Max Reimelt (Andi) was chosen from a shortlist of 10 males for the leading role. Cate Shortland felt that he best portrayed the lack of shame of a true sociopath.

Director Cate Shortland was born in Tempra NSW Australia. She is an Australian writer and director of film and television. She graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School where she received the Southern Star Award for most promising student. Cate’s previous films include ‘Lore’ (2012) and Somersault’ (2004).

The street scenes were shot in Berlin. The apartment scenes were shot in Docklands studios in Melbourne. Filming started in 2015. Clare and Andi moved together into a small apartment similar to the one on set for two weeks prior to filming.

Some of us of a certain age may remember the film ‘The Collector’ directed by William Wyler with Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar(1965) based on a John Fowler novel where the victim is kept in a cellar. Similarly Berlin Syndrome depicts both the degradation endured by Clare and the peculiar psychological ins and outs of the captor-captive dynamic between Clare and Andi.

This film will keep you engaged throughout with its underlying sinister intent. Until the final outcome…

Chris Gracia


            Weighted vote 66.3%