It’s 8:47 am
As I posted in my review of “Toyland”, it was part of the Film Movement’s release of the award winning film “Storm”. Each Film Movement release comes with both a featured film and a short. These are high quality and rich films from all over the world that shows the vision of many different writers,directors and actors.
“Storm” is my first experience with a Film Movement release and I have to say that the cheetah and I were very impressed.
“Storm” opens with a family playing on a beach in Spain,a middle aged father with his two young children. They take a break and the father sits with his wife who is upset,the man tries to calm her by telling to have another drink.
As the family gets ready to leave,the man notices cars with strange men watching him. As he leaves,they start following his car….suddenly he makes a risky turn,scaring his family and making his wife angry,he says nothing as they escape. Later on at his home,he makes a phone call and wants to know “What is going on”? He soon finds out as Spanish police make a raid and arrest him…
The man turns out to be Goran Duric,a general during the savage ethnic “cleansing” campaign during the war in Bosnia in the 90s. He is wanted on war crimes and is transferred to the International World Court at The Hague in The Netherlands to stand trial.
Flash forward to three years later and Duric’s trial is coming to a close. Prosecutor Hannah Maynard is called into the office of her new boss and former peer,Keith Haywood. There is a little tension between the two because Haywood has the job Hannah had applied to as well.
Haywood asks Hannah to take over and close the Duric trial,he implies its a slam dunk because of a star witness who Duric murder a woman and her baby. They need to close this up now because of three years the case has lasted.
But when its proven the witness has lied on the stand about what he claimed to have seen,the man,Alen Hejdarevic,implores to Maynard that Duric is a monster and did the crime he lied about. Maynard is angry about being lied to and more likely to lose the case (and standing in her office) and Alen to “piss off”.
The next day finds Alen dead by his own hand and Hannah scrambling to save her case. When she meets Alen’s sister,Mira and finds out Mira knows a lot more then she is letting on,she has to find a way to get her to testify. But outside forces and close allies have reason to see Mira not take the stand and are putting into play to deny justice to Mira and other countless victims. Hannah then makes the most important decision of her life to help Mira,risking everything she holds dear……
“Storm” is a excellent legal and political thriller. I was totally rooted in its relatively unknown story of how the International Criminal Court works,we don’t see this kind of movie coming from Hollywood. So it was very insightful to see the inner workings of a war crimes trial.
While the cast is also relatively unknown to me with only New Zealand actress Kerry Fox as Hannah being known to me,there is more then enough talent to brag about,every actor plays their parts brilliantly with Anamaria Marinca’s Mira leading the way. Her Mira,stoic on the inside while raging over a unspeakable act 15 years ago is spot on. You couldn’t help but be just as angry and outraged. When the trust she puts in Hannah seems to have been for nothing,the helpless look she has on her face says volumes. She has put her entire life plus her family in the hands of a system that sometimes misplaces its true purpose of finding the truth in exchange for a political solution.
Fox,as Hannah,does a great job as well….her Hannah is a rich and complex woman who thinks she knows her duty until she really is tested on what that duty truly entails. When she finds out exactly how the game is truly played,her own betrayal only makes her that much more driven to do the right thing.
“Storm” was co-written by Bernd Lange and director Hans-Christian Schmid. There are no Hollywood action set pieces here,”Storm” plays more like a puzzle or a chess game with each side making their moves carefully and thoughtfully. The story unfolds so you can see both sides and how a war crime case affects everyone both living and dead. Schmid knows his story and translates it perfectly to the screen,its a masterpiece of film making of putting Hannah and Mira’s story in the forefront above all else.
“Storm” is a movie that should be seen by everyone,its message is just as timeless and powerful as the short film,”Toyland” that Film Movement paired it with. Whoever decided to combine these together has a sharp mind……..and a soul.
The cheetah and I both highly recommend “Storm” and give it two thumbs and four paws up.
The DVD special features are rather bare boned,but the short film more then makes up for it.
While “Storm” is not rated,here in the U.S.,it would be considered a PG-13 rating.
You can buy “Storm” at Film Movement and also sign up to their wonderful film club.