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August Diehl (photo © Bavaria Film International)

In the basement of an unfinished building, bright spotlights and electrifying pills transport the young guests into another world. Marc, freshly graduated from the police academy, is among those who enjoy music and drugs - until police detective Minks and his people raid the place. Marc can escape, but his jacket is found. The pills he hid in it provide an opportunity for Minks, and his young colleague will face a tough decision: Marc will either work for Minks in homicide, or his career will be finished on drug possession charges. But why would this cynical detective, generally feared for his unconventional methods, want Marc at his side? Soon it becomes clear what Minks is expecting from the cooperation with his party-wise fellow detective. He wants to gain access to a world that is closed to him, a world which swallowed up his daughter Marie two years ago. Marc's investigation leads him to the burnt corpse of a young woman, and several other leads direct him to a series of other murder cases, which all have one thing in common: the perpetrator seems to dissect his victims with a scalpel, as all of them are missing large pieces of skin. During his investigation, Marc comes across Maya, the beautiful, if very cool, girlfriend of one of the victims. She too will be sucked into the maelstrom of this case, from which there seems to be no escape ...

Robert Schwentke was born in 1968. He studied Literature and Philosophy at the Eberhard Karl University in Tübingen and later earned an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. A selection of his films includes: TATTOO (2002), EIERDIEBE (2003), FLIGHTPLAN (2005), LIE TO ME (pilot, 2009), THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE (2009), R.E.D. (2010), R.I.P.D. (2013), THE NOVICE (pilot, 2014), DIVERGENT - INSURGENT (2015), DIVERGENT - ALLEGIANT (2016), and THE CAPTAIN (2017).
Genre Thriller
Category Feature
Year of Production 2002
Director Robert Schwentke
Screenplay Robert Schwentke
Cinematography Jan Fehse
Peter Przygodda
Christoph M. Kaiser
Josef Sanktjohanser
Cast Nadeshda Brennicke, Christian Redl, August Diehl
Producers Jan Hinter, Roman Kuhn
Production Company Lounge Entertainment/Munich, in co-production with B.A. Produktion/Munich, TOBIS Filmproduktion
Length 110 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Versions English, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Sound Technology Dolby Digital, Dolby SRD
Festivals Taormina 2002, Edinburg 2002, Espoo Ciné 2002, Athens 2002, Umea 2002, Fantasy Film Festival San Sebastian 2002, AFI Los Angeles 2002, Fantasporto 2003, Fantasy Film Festival Brussels 2003, Mar del Plata 2003
With backing from German Federal Film Board
German Distributor TOBIS Film

World Sales
Bavaria Media International

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