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UNDER THE FAMILY TREE

by Constanze Knoche

synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Isabell was reluctant to join a self-help camp, but she changed her mind as she is drawn to the charming therapist, Einar, who uses a “Penetrating Family Constellation” treatment. One participant disappears from the camp, quickly turning Isabell’s passion toward Einar into suspicion. Under the Family Tree is an interesting coming-of-age film, combining psychological thriller and horror film. The teenaged protagonist goes into a forest, that mysterious space, on a land with a complicated history where the owners changed during a war; a typical space for the horror genre. The sexy guy who controls the minds of others, and the participants drawn to him like an Orphic group overlap into the realm of occult. The young girl who steadily digs around the doubtful death, unlike the ignorant grownups, is also interpreted as a genre icon. Up to the last turnabout, where the boundary between reality and illusion is raised, this excellent work never lets you relax. Knoche’s directorial capability is brilliantly displayed through the strength that she maintains the frame and mystery of refined structures to the very last.

international title: Under the Family Tree
original title: Die Familie
country: Germany
year: 2017
genre: fiction
directed by: Constanze Knoche
film run: 92'
screenplay: Constanze Knoche, Leis Bagdach
cast: Stephanie Amarell, Mirosław Baka, Emma Drogunova, Siir Eloglu, Claudia Geisler-Bading, Godehard Giese, Karin Hanczewski, Alma Leiberg, Leon Ullrich
cinematography by: Andreas Bergmann
film editing: Kai Minierski
art director: Katarzyna Slaska
costumes designer: Ramona Petersen
producer: Holm Taddiken, Leis Bagdach
executive producer: Leis Bagdach
line producer: Anna Zajaczkowska
production: Neufilm
distributor: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)