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Michael – review

The Josef Fritzl affair and similar cases of horrendous incarceration revealed in its wake have now produced a sizable body of documentaries, feature films and fiction too, of which Michael is a minor, rather puzzling addition. The 40-year-old Austrian film-maker Markus Schleinzer, whose first feature film this is, has worked as a casting director on over 60 films, among them Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher, Time of the Wolf and, most significantly, The White Ribbon, on which he coached the child actors.

The eponymous Michael (Michael Fuith) is a 35-year-old minor official with an Austrian insurance company, who keeps the 10-year-old Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) a prisoner in the soundproofed basement of his suburban home. Michael is a bespectacled, nondescript loner with a brother and sister both married with children. He largely keeps to himself, rejecting the advances of a female colleague, whom he physically throws out of his house when she intrudes.

See full article on The Guardian - Film News