Diane Kruger wins best actress award at Cannes for 'In the Fade'

By Moira Sullivan

In the Fade by German director Faith Akin is a chilling tale on profiling new Nazi terrorism and hate crimes in Germany. Katja, (Diane Kruger), a young German woman loses her husband and young son in a bombing attack in Hamburg. She met her husband Nuri (Numan Acar), a Kurd of Turkish descent, as a student and bought hash from him. He was later imprisoned for selling drugs and made good use of his time learning business in prison. After his son Roco’s birth he gave up drugs.

In the opening scenes, Katja drops off her Rocco (Rafael Santana) with Nuri who has a small translation and tax business in the city. Moments before the blast, she notices a young white woman who parks her bike close to her husband’s office.

When Katja later learns her family is dead, she goes through a major breakdown. The misery which she endures seems relentless. Faith Akin reverently pays attention to every detail of the grieving process in this tragedy and how it is confronted by Katja with little solace for her pain.

Two Neo Nazi suspects are apprehended, the woman she saw before the blast and her husband. There is a lengthy trial Katja is advised not to testify by her lawyer Danilo (Denis Moschitto). Forensic evidence and clever arguments by the prosecution is weighed by the judge who makes a decision based on legal facts.

The film’s success rests on the performance of Diane Kruger who is able to navigate the shock of the devastation and its aftermath and the trial that determines the verdict for the crime. Katja’s lawyer. convinces her that they will win the case but the defense attorney has other plans. Later she is forced to investigate the married couple on her own which takes her to Greece where a witness for the defense lives.

In the Fade debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May and Faith Akin’s film stands out as one of the best of the Cannes selection. He has made a film close to him whose parents are Turkish and his films are often selected to film festivals such at Berlin and Cannes.

Update January 2018: At the Golden Globes on Jan 7 In the Fade won the best foreign language film of this year and both Akin and Kruger accepted the award. Seated at their table during the awards ceremony was Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Cannes Film Festival who was instrumental in bring the film to international attention and who Akin acknowledged from the stage for opening the door for this film. 
In the Fade has been nominated for best foreign language film for the 2018 Academy Awards.

© 2017 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 05/31/17
Movie Magazine International