In the Fade is a film filled with raw emotion. It gives a sensitive and realistic portrayal of Islamophobia and its consequences for the main character, Katja.
It begins with a prison wedding between a Turkish inmate and a German woman. We then see the Turkish man running an advice centre and the woman leaving their young son at the office while she sees a friend. Coming back later that evening Katja is confronted with police emergency lines and signs of an explosion, and learns that the advice centre was the focus of the blast.
The inevitable assumptions that this must be Islamist terrorism follows.
Suspects are charged with causing the explosion and the trial takes us through all the prejudices and slanders. Dirty tricks and legal tactics defeat Katja but also expose allies and enemies within her family and from unexpected sources.
Links to Golden Dawn in Greece are revealed during the trial and the final section of the film follow her journey to Greece.
Her final choice shows the depths of her despair and the brutality of the process she has been forced to endure.
I found myself asking what I would have done in Katja’s place—we never can know until we experience an impossible situation. She is brave and is forced to make tough decisions during the film.
In the Fade is intensely emotional without lurching into sentimentality or schmaltz.
The racism which many people experience as a day to day reality is well depicted. Viewers will be left deeply moved but also extremely angry.