Roman is serving time in a juvenile detention center. After half of his term, Roman is released on probation and, after many failed attempts, he finds a job at the morgue in Vienna. One day, Roman is faced with a dead woman who bears his family name, and he begins to wonder about his past.
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Like watching a disaster unfold in spectacular slow-motion. No amount of knowing what's going to happen narratively prepares you for the stifling feeling of freedom taken away and tenderness given back, but only in small portions, clandestinely. The undertaker may be boorish and emotionally stunted, but he knows how to how to handle a corpse with all the delicacy and respect the living don't deserve.
Solid debut directorial effort from actor Karl Markovics. Telling the tale of a young offender going through the parole process and getting a job as a mortuary attendant while he looks into finding his birth mother who gave him up at a young age. A film like this depends on the performances and novice Thomas Schubert connects as young Roman with his blank expressions that hides a glimmer of hope for his future.
This subtle and meditative directorial debut by Austrian actor Karl Markovics about a troubled boy from juvenile detention who takes a job with a morgue reveals itself artfully, one layer at a time. Performances are all quite good, photography solid and my only gripe was the fake smoking. 3.5 stars
Un bon film, même s'il met un peu de temps à démarrer. On finit par s'attacher à ce jeune type qui essaie de s'en sortir en se confrontant au monde des pompes funèbres. Les personnages secondaires sont assez réussis.
Great Austrian production, with beautiful photography and good direction by Markovics. Schubert's performance is exceptional, "Atmen" is touching, sensitive and involves us in such a way with the moving drama of Roman Kogler. The ending is optimistic, I hope Kogler has left the Juvenile Detention Center and changed his life.