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Gun-Shy
15Gun-Shy (Schussangst) (2003)

updated 21 November 2003
reviewer's rating
4 out of 5
Reviewed by Jamie Russell
average user rating
4 Star


Director
Dito Tsintsadze
Writer
Dito Tsintsadze
Dirk Kurbjuweit
Stars
Fabian Hinrichs
Johan Leysen
Lena Stolze
Christoph Waltz
Lavinia Wilson
Ingeborg Westphal
Length
101 minutes
Distributor
German Film Festival
Cinema
28 November 2003
Country
Germany
Genre
Drama
World Cinema
Web Links
Official site


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Average star rating: 4.5 from 30 votes

Lukas (Fabian Hinrichs) is "gun shy". A quiet loner who refused to join the army because of his pacifist beliefs, he's working out his Civil Service delivering meals-on-wheels. Spending his days with the elderly and his nights out rowing on the local river, he's the last person anyone would expect to be a ticking time bomb of explosive frustration.

Yet after an encounter with the enigmatic Isabella (Lavinia Wilson) - who drops a note into his lap saying "Help Me!" and then leads him through the red light district looking at sex toys - Lukas finds his life taking an unexpected turn. Isabella's troubled relationship with her abusive stepfather and her flighty allure only make this awkward young man feel more alone than ever before.

"BLACKLY COMIC SCENES"

Shot through with blackly comic scenes, this German thriller is an offbeat portrait of alienation - arriving at one old woman's home to find she's hanged herself, Lukas struggles to cut down her body while her neighbour scoffs her dinner delivery. "Everyone's alone," explains one of Lukas' neighbours as he spies on people through night-vision goggles. "People don't believe anyone any more, because there's nothing left for them to believe in. Their souls are totally empty." Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Lukas purchases a high-powered sniper rifle...

"PROVOCATIVE AND POIGNANT"

Depicting Lukas' spiralling descent into violence as if guided by some inexorable fate, this rapt character study proves to have far more surprises up its sleeve than the plot synopsis might suggest. Arriving from somewhere out of leftfield, Dito Tsintsadze flits between dark seriousness and comic asides as lead actor Hinrichs gradually transforms this shy loser into a potential assassin. Provocative and poignant, it's a film that bristles in the mind long after the inevitable conclusion hits the mark.

Find out more about "Gun-Shy (Schussangst)" at
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