Thursday, November 10, 2011

Es ist Nicht Vorbei

Unlike American TV, which has become an abyss of schlock, German TV still has some thoughtful programming. Last night, I watched “Es ist Nicht Vorbei” (“It's not Over”), an excellent TV drama about the infamous Hoheneck Prison in the former East Germany.

It didn't take much to get sentenced to Hoheneck (for example, an exit visa offense), and as the title suggests, memories of Hoheneck can last a lifetime. Twenty years after leaving prison, Frau Weber's memories of Hoheneck return when she attends a dinner party hosted by Dr. Limberg. Is Dr. Limberg, the prison doctor who injected her with powerful psychotropic drugs, which, as she puts it, “left black holes in your head, making you barely able to walk, and leaving you in a state of blurred reality?”

The movie is part mystery, part documentary, and part thriller. Do we believe Frau Weber? Can she really remember a voice from twenty years in the past or is she delusional and accusing an innocent man? The mind can sometimes play tricks.

Anja Kling is compelling as Frau Weber and Tobias Oertel is excellent as Dr. Limberg. Two fantastic performances! The film also has Ernst Georg Schwill who plays the former Stasi Officer, Weihe. In real life, Mr. Schwill was once a member of the Stasi (East Germany's notorious secret police). The film is available for viewing for a limited time on Das Erste. Even if you don't understand German, watch a few minutes.

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