Directed by Visar Morina, drama, 121 min, eng subtitles, 16+
Written by Visar Morina
With Mišel Matičevič, Rainer Bock, Thomas Mraz, Sandra Hüller
When Xhafer, a 45 year old, Kosovo-born pharmaceutical engineer living in Germany, finds a dead rat hanging from the gate in front of his family home, the thin line between reality and imagination becomes blurred. Every occurrence, every word, every gesture is taken as evidence, and Xhafer’s unease grows day-by-day. His German wife, Nora (Sandra Hüller, Toni Erdmann), is tired of him playing the racism card all the time. Do his colleagues simply dislike him? Or is there more to their hostility?
Exile by director Visar Morina (winner of the Special Jury Prize for Babai on CinEast 2015) and produced by Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann), chronicles a steadily growing, though a possibly imagined, threat. Living in an adopted country and trying to fit in and integrate is not easy. Sometimes a person is asked to live up to unrealistic standards. So, Xhafer – slowly exiled from his own life - legitimately asks himself: "Everytime I have a headache, should I be happy I’m not having a brain tumour?"
Morina, after his awarded debut Babai, presents a haunting sophomore feature with a keen sense of detail and superb acting. This is a delicate and fascinating psychological thriller about paranoia and identity that is simultaneously dark and surreal. Having had its world premiere at Sundance IFF – World Cinema Dramatic Competition and presented as part of the Panorama section of the Berlinale, Exile recently won the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Feature Film at this year’s virtual Sarajevo IFF.
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