Only God Can Judge Me
3rd German Film Week
"Yildirim’s work is dedicated to deep abysses and takes the audience on a journey through a dark and pessimistic cosmos.“ – Christopher Diekhaus, Kino Zeit
Following his award-winning feature debut "Chiko", writer-director Özgür Yildirim returns to the world of petty gangsters – this time on the mean streets of Frankfurt. Moritz Bleibtreu – who also dons the producer’s hat for the first time – stars as Ricky, a small-time gangster about to be released from prison after doing time for a heist which was botched by his brother Rafael and partner-in-crime Latif. Shortly after his release, Latif makes him an offer that seems too good to be true and ultimately too good to refuse. However, the surefire plan is jeopardized by the sudden emergence of Diana, a police officer with a hidden agenda, triggering a nerve-wracking game of cat and mouse…
Source: German Films Service & Marketing GmbH
FILM REVIEWFans of crime dramas and thrillers will not be disappointed in Özgür Yildirim’s latest film, Only God Can Judge Me, which delves into the seedy underworld of Frankfurt and its young thugs and drug dealers. It stars Moritz Bleibtreu (Ricky) and Edin Hasanovic (Rafael) as brothers who are trying their best to veer away from crime: Ricky has just been released from prison, and Rafael is hoping to have a family with his girlfriend. But life is tough, and before they know it they are drawn again to drug dealing, a one-time agreement whose compensation will help them to start over. Their lives become entangled with Diana (Birgit Minichmayr), the policewoman who recovers the heroin from them and needs money urgently for her daughter’s heart condition. She tries to sell the drugs on her own but gets trapped in the underworld’s violent realm. Ricky, Rafael, and Diana find themselves in a clusterfuck, where nothing seems to go in their favour and everything ends in a complete shambles.
Only God Can Judge Me is standard mainstream fare, with no surprises in the way it takes twists and turns, from the flashback in the beginning that sets the tone, to Ricky and Rafael’s troubled relationship with their father, to Diana’s luckless struggle to support her child and the inefficiency of the police force she is part of. These three characters are developed and humanised, made to appear that their fates are not totally their choice but brought about by the cruelty of their situations, by the conditions that determine their bad decisions. Yildirim prefers stylish storytelling, filling the screen with gun fires, fast cuts, and dramatic leaps, pushing and pulling the narrative at the same time. At some point this stretch becomes obvious and it all feels contrived, but with serviceable direction and a team of competent actors, not to mention the inevitable commentary on immigrant life, the ride towards the end is a worthy experience.
- Richard Bolisay
Richard Bolisay is a writer and film critic based in Manila. His essays on cinema have appeared in various publications online and in print. He is a participant of the Berlinale Talent Press and Locarno Critics Academy, and has been part of the jury of, among others, the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
Follow him on Twitter @richardbolisay.
German title: Nur Gott kann mich richten
Director: Özgür Yildirim
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Duration: 101 mins
SM Aura Premier:
Nov 6 - 7:00pm
Nov 11 - 7:00pm
SM City North EDSA:
Nov 8 - 7:00pm