"A Heartbreaking Revenge Story from Germany"

Content: -3 Excessive content and/or worldview problems.

What You Need To Know:

IN THE FADE is a German drama about Katja, a wife and mother in a town in Germany, now suffering an extreme tragedy. One day, she takes her son to her husband’s office, only later to find the office completely destroyed by a bomb, set off by a Neo-Nazi couple. After hearing the case against the perpetrators, the judges decide the evidence isn’t strong enough to convict them. Katja decides to take matters into her own hands in order to seek justice for her husband and son.

IN THE FADE accomplishes well what it has set out to do, which is to distort the real issues in Germany today. It’s an absorbing German movie with high drama, suspense and poignant moments that are emotionally powerful. Diane Kruger gives a great performance as Katja. It’s very easy to empathize and connect with her character. Sadly, IN THE FADE contains plenty of strong foul language and a few graphic situations. It also has a strong humanist worldview that ultimately seems to justify revenge and suicide. Consequently, IN THE FADE ultimately is excessive and unacceptable.


(HH, B, P, LL, VVV, S, N, A, DD, MMM) Strong humanist, somewhat hopeless worldview where human beings are the deciding measure between grace and justice, only the material world exists, and it’s the job of people to make things right, people decide who lives and who dies, woman says her murdered husband was an agnostic, and movie seems to justify revenge and suicide but not in a didactic way and seems to leave the final determination up to viewers, but there’s no reference to God or any supernatural ideas, but there are some moral elements, and a policeman is at first skeptical of victim’s story but later honestly tries to help her find some justice through the system; 17 obscenities (12 “f” words and boy utters a couple “f” words and elicits laughs from his mother), no profanities and bad man calls victim a “whore”; one scene of very strong graphic violence when woman tries attempts to kill herself in the bathtub with slit wrists, and viewer sees the cuts and a heavy amount of blood, plus strong other violence includes story centers on a husband and child being killed in a hate crime explosion, woman attacks a accused woman in court after hearing about her late son’s injuries, the injuries of the child are read aloud in court very graphically, woman starts her period and reaches into her pants, and her hand comes out with blood on her fingers, man runs after a woman in her car with a crowbar, woman visits crime scene and sees blood of her dead husband and son on a wall, and two explosions; one conversation regarding “being horny” and “going to buy a huge dildo,” and woman is called a “whore” as an insult; no explicit nudity, but main character gets a tattoo on her ribcage and covers her breasts, earlier woman showed tattoo to her friend and bottom part of her breast is slightly exposed, woman lays in bathtub in her underwear, beach scene with upper male nudity, and people in the background in swimsuits; characters have wine or beer occasionally, plus two characters take shots at a bar; smoking, plus main character and her husband met because he sold her marijuana when she was in college, plus when the main character is in pain from a traumatic event her lawyer gives her cocaine and other opioids, and she is shown snorting cocaine and smoking crack, later this becomes an issue at the trial of the two people who murdered her husband and son; very strong miscellaneous immoral content includes heavy elements of revenge and a duty to avenge what was wrong by humans, elements of Neo-Nazism and hate crimes, racial slurs, family is portrayed as happy and loving, but parents allow child to curse and mildly disrespect them, woman has tattoos, heavy elements of suicide and moral relativism justifying vigilante murder, and female protagonist’s mother is portrayed as rather mean.

More Detail:

IN THE FADE takes place in a city in Germany where Katja lives happily with her son and Turkish husband Nuri. She and her husband met when she was in college, and he began to sell her marijuana. Getting caught with a substantial amount of the drug, Nuri spent some time in prison, during which he and Katja got married. Immediately following his release, Katja became pregnant with their son. They both stopped their drug use and dedicated their lives to being good and loving parents.

One day as Katja drops her son off at her husband’s office, she notices a young girl leaving her new bicycle unattended and without a lock. She mentions to her that it’s going to be stolen, but the girl dismisses it as she says she’ll be coming right back. Later that evening, Katja returns to the neighborhood, entering onto a crime scene. She sees where her husband’s office used to be, burnt to a crisp by an explosion. She immediately runs towards it fearing for the lives of the people she loves the most. The police take her to where the survivors are, and her husband and son are nowhere to be found. Tragically, the two bodies that were found amongst the destruction are her husband and her precious son, Rocco.

The police immediately begin their investigation as to who was behind this attack. They believe it could have been someone that her husband was involved with when he used to sell drugs, or was in jail. Adamant about her belief that Neo-Nazis were behind the attack, Katja is unhappy with the police investigation. One night she decides to end her life in the bathtub. As she is sitting there letting her wrists bleed out, she hears a message from the police investigator informing her that her intuitions were right, and they’ve found the Neo-Nazis apparently responsible for this terrible hate crime.

Katja and her lawyer team up to create a foolproof case against these people, as she unquestionably recognizes the face of the girl who left the bicycle in front of the shop on the day of the explosion. However, as the case proceeds, the opposing lawyer has equally created a very strong case for the defense, making it very difficult for the state to prove their guilt without a reasonable doubt. So, the alleged perpetrators are acquitted and set free. Unbelievably hurt and angry with the justice system, Katja decides to take matters into her own hands and seek revenge against the people who took her life away from her.

IN THE FADE is a well-done movie about supposed Neo-Nazi hate crimes in Germany, even though the vast majority of the crime is instigated by Muslims. Although the deaths of Katja’s husband and son happen a bit too quickly to form a real connection with them as a viewer, the performance by Diane Kruger as Katja creates a very real empathy for the tragedy her character suffers. Although this movie takes a few twists, they are rather predictable.

IN THE FADE is dominated by a humanist worldview, where morality is guided by human beings and justice is given only to those who seek it. There is no mention of God or any supernatural being. Instead, people create and determine their own future and the world in which they live. When justice isn’t served, it’s up to the ones who seek it in order to see it through. Eventually, the movie seems to justify revenge and suicide bombing to get it. However, it’s not didactic, so viewers are also left to make their own decisions about what happens.

IN THE FADE contains plenty of strong foul language and a few graphic situations. The movie’s humanist, amoral approach and revenge theme are excessive and ultimately unacceptable.

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