Germany | Austria | Netherlands 2017
Opening March 8, 2018
Directed by: Miguel Alexandre
Writing credits: Miguel Alexandre, Josef Hader
Principal actors: Florence Kasumba, Hannah Hoekstra, Rainer Block
Austrian Arthur (Hader) flies from Vienna to Amsterdam, where he visits his friend, a medical doctor, who, the next day, will oversee a deadly injection: assisted suicide. Arthur suffers from lung cancer and sees no reason to live. He checks into a nice hotel and orders a fancy last meal, which he cannot really enjoy because the music next door is definitely too loud. In the end, Arthur knocks to complain and meets Claire (Hoekstra), a young Dutch woman who is getting ready to swallow a handful of pills and step into the flooding bathtub. Here we have two people with a mutual suicidal interest which brings them together. They decide to go out on the town, each with the intention of changing the other’s mind within the last few hours allotted to them. Claire tells Arthur that a real man wouldn’t die by an injection in a hospital; he would die like a cowboy with a cigarette at sundown; real men shoot themselves in the head. And what is Claire’s problem, anyway?
It might be hard to imagine, but potential suicide can be funny, as it here in this film based on a play of the same name by Stefan Vögel. Needless to say, you will predict the ending, but that does not lessen the enjoyment of these two actors. Hannah Hoekstra was a shooting star at the 2017 Berlinale. The funniest parts are the first and the last three minutes with much to think about in between. (Becky T.)