Inspired by actual events, this film tells the story of a young woman named Michaela Klinger who, torn between faith and sickness at the beginning of the 1970s, became the victim of an exorcism. Brought up by her parents in a strict Catholic household, Michaela moved to Tübingen at the age of 21 to take up studies in teaching. Although her father, always her ally, is fully supportive of the move, her anxious mother, who tries to keep her epileptic daughter bound up in a cocoon of bans and preventative measures, has mixed feelings about Michaela becoming a student.
Delighted to have put her lower middle-class environment behind her, Michaela immediately relishes her new-found freedom and soon makes friends with university students Hanna and Stefan. But Michaela’s past soon catches up with her: in spite of medication she begins to suffer from ever more epileptic fits and delusions. Only now she hears voices and believes herself to be possessed by demons. One morning Hanna finds Michaela lying unconscious among the upturned furniture in her room at the halls of residence. It becomes clear that Michaela can no longer conceal her traumatic past.
In desperation, she seeks help from a familiar source – her village church. She appeals to the trusted priest, Father Landauer, who introduces her to a colleague. After initial misgivings, Michaela agrees to a lengthy discussion with this young priest, whose name is Martin Borchert. Afterwards she feels relieved and even elated.
But her condition deteriorates while she is spending the Christmas holidays at her parents’ house. Michaela and her mother have a blazing row and Michaela subsequently has a violent fit. Not knowing how else to help their increasingly aggressive daughter, Michaela’s parents contact the priest. After careful discussion with the family and collective prayers, Michaela finally agrees to have an exorcism… –Berlinale
Hans-Christian Schmid was born 1965 in the Bavarian city of Altötting, a famous place of pilgrimage. Nevertheless, Schmid was not brought up in a ultra-catholic fashion as some of his films might suggest. Instead, he grew up in a liberal home, attended a high school that was regarded politically left, went to demonstrations for peace instead of Sunday service, and was an active member of the Green party.
From 1985 to 1992, Schmid studied documentary film making at Munich’s Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF), where he filmed his debut movie Sekt oder Selters (1989) about people addicted to slot machines as well as two more short films. In his graduation film Die Mechanik des Wunders (1992), he dealt with the organized religiousness of his home town for the first time. After graduating from HFF, Schmid got a scholarship from Drehbuchwerkstatt München to study screenplay writing at University of Southern California in Los Angeles.— filmportal.de
The German counterpart of "The exorcism of Emily Rose" but with more emphasis on the family and the human drama. told with lack of grandeur and ostentation, which is not ultimately too impressive, it is a correct approach but the ending was a little anticlimactic for my taste. Sandra Hüller's performance is by far the best of all.