(director/writer: Fatih Akin; screenwriter: book author Hark Bohm; cinematographer: Rainer Klausmann; editor: Andrew Bird; music: Joshua Homme; cast: Diane Kruger (Katja), Denis Moschitto (Danilo Fava), Johannes Krisch (Haberbeck, lawyer), Samia Chancrin (Birgit), Numan Acar (Nuri), Rafael Santana (Rocco), Karin Neuhauser (Annemarie), Asim Demirel (Ali), Aysel Iscan ( Hülya), Ulrich Tukur (Jürgen Möller); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating:NR; producers: Nurhan Sekerci-Porst, Fatih Akin, Herman Weigel; Magnolia Pictures; 2017-Germany-in German & Greek with English subtitles)

What is not mentioned is that the greater threat to the population is from Islamist extremists and not neo-Nazis.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Director and co-writer Fatih Akin (“Goodbye Berlin”/”The Cut”) helms a mediocre TV-like revenge drama of a Hamburg white German woman, Katja (Diane Kruger), seeking justice after the murder of her Kurdish husband Nuri (Numan Acar), a reformed drug-dealer, now working as a legal adviser to the Turkish and Kurdish communities, and also the murder of their son Rocco (Rafael Santana), by the bomb attack of a couple of Neo-Nazi terrorists.

The other writer is Hark Bohm, who based the story on hate crime research in Germany between 2000 and 2007 and the rise of the ultra-right wing in Germany during this period. What is not mentioned is that the greater threat to the population is from Islamist extremists and not neo-Nazis.The unrepentant murderers are not convicted by the failed judicial system. Thereby the blonde-haired victim’s wife decides to go after the killers herself no matter if that’s legal or not. Her unsympathetic mother (Karin Neuhauser) and her late husband’s family (Asim Demirel & Aysel Iscan) offer no help.

The trial scenes move along rather well, with the pomposity of the lawyer for the Nazis (Johannes Krisch) creeping us out. Also turning in a good performance is Denis Moschitto, as Katya’s attorney. If the drama was set entirely in the court as a conventional drama I think it would have been a far better film. Problems arise after the unfair court verdict and the film threads in shallow water as the events become unbelievable. The action reaches absurdity, as Kruger’s performance suffers because she’s stuck with the poor script.

In The Fade looms as a liberal drama, which resorts to simplistic solutions for the complex problems raised.

REVIEWED ON 11/15/2017 GRADE: C+