Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Panorama

The Mortician

Der Totengräber

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America in the wake of a financial crisis. The country is bankrupt; the city’s banking district has not survived the disaster. The population is impoverished and has been corralled into ghettos. The crime rate is soaring but, as long as it doesn’t spill over into their own lives, this is of no interest to politicians. There is one person, however, whose services are much in demand, namely, the mortician. He processes corpses with steely disregard. His work is conducted with a ritualistic eye for detail and an unyielding adherence to routine. The mortician is a cold fish. The only interpersonal contact he has is with a prostitute named Ava. An insomniac, the mortician wanders the streets of the ghetto, emotionally isolated and lonely. One day his boss introduces him to his new colleague. Noah is a young offender currently on probation. But before long, a gangster named Carver turns up on the mortician’s doorstep. This heavy’s unmistakable threats throw the mortician completely off balance. One day, the dead body of a murdered young woman is delivered. Noah is unexpectedly squeamish. The mortician notices a tattoo of Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ on her stomach and this conjures up memories of his childhood and his mother. Shortly afterwards he discovers a child close to the mortuary. It transpires that the boy, Kane, is the murdered young woman’s son. Carver, the gangster, is obviously looking for him. All of a sudden, the situation triggers the mortician’s emotional awakening …"

United Kingdom / USA 2010, 91 min

by

Gareth Maxwell Roberts

with

Method Man
Edward Furlong
Dash Mihok
Judy Marte
Angelic Zambrana

World Sales

AV Pictures Ltd.