Hut in the Woods
Dir.: Hans Weingartner | Germany 2011 | 109 min
Should a mentally unstable German man and an orphaned Ukrainian boy be allowed to shape their own lives in a hut in the woods, or should they be forced to adapt to the society around them. Both the physical and psychological challenges are sketched out in Hans Weingartner's thought-provoking and poignant new film. Martin is a promising mathematician, but his soul can't keep up with his brain, which sends him on a downward path into madness. He loses the ability to lead a so-called normal life and ends up on the street. But this turns out to be his salvation, as this is where he meets the young boy Viktor, and even if they don't speak each other's language, they find each other in a dream of living a life outside society. They discover freedom and joy, but reality doesn't want to let go of them, and it threatens to pull them down again. Peter Schneider carries the film with his performance of the difficult role of Martin, but it is the chemistry between him and the boy which is the heart of the film. Already in his 2001 debut 'The White Noise', Hans Weingartner dealt with a mentally unstable protagonist, and in the same spirit he now tackles the disease with compassion and insight.