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Prisoners (Gefangene)

Prisoners
Scene from "Prisoners" (photo © 2005 Paul Kalkbrenner)

“You are in a space with no entrance, no window, and no ventilation system. How do you feel?” “Then how do I get in?” asks Irene evasively. Her friend Paula insists: “How do you feel in this dark space?” But Irene doesn’t answer. She knows this space. It is hers.

The space in which Irene lives encased in emptiness. Sitting with Paula in a bar. Walking down the long hallway at the university. Walking along the wall that separates her apartment from the prison next door. Standing at the window of her room looking over at the prison. A space Irene lives in, as if waiting.

One day the doorbell rings. Irene hesitantly opens the door. A man charges in, quickly shutting the door behind him. A fugitive from the prison next door, now making himself at home in her apartment. And Irene is unable to get away. Only, it slowly becomes more and more evident that she doesn’t want to get away. On the contrary: Irene has lured the stranger, sent him letters in prison. Now he is here holding her captive like a hostage, observing how she lives.

“A dark space that has no doors, no windows, and no ventilation system. How do you feel?” she asks him. Both of them, have the same answer to this question. Slowly they become closer. But then Paula shows up unexpectedly. The situation escalates and Irene must make a decision. She descends ever deeper into the space with no exit. And yet this is at once liberation from her prison.


Iain Dilthey was born in 1971 in Scotland. From 1992-1997, he studied Chemistry and Pharmaceutics in Marburg and Mainz, followed by work as a scriptwriter and director\'s and production assistant on various television programs, reports and short films. From 1997-2002, he studied Directing at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg. His films include: Es war einmal ein Kind (1995), Gegen die Stille (1996), Bergpredigt (1998), Joseph 98 (1998), Partisanen! (1999), Sommer auf Horlachen (1999), I\'ll Wait on You Hand and Foot (Ich werde Dich auf Haende Tragen, 2000), The Longing (Das Verlangen, 2002) winner of the Golden Leopard at Locarno, and Prisoners (Gefangene, 2006).
Genre Drama, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Iain Dilthey
Screenplay Ulrike Maria Hund
Cinematography Hans Fromm
Christian Kraemer, Oliver Neumann
Marius Felix Lange
Nicola Schudy
Cast Jule Böwe, Andreas Schmidt, Eva Löbau
Producer Gerd Haag
Production Company TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion/Cologne, in co-production with Fischer Film/Vienna, ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel
Length 89 min
Format Super 16
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version French
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Locarno 2006 (In Competition), Montreal 2006, Hof 2006, Biberach 2006, Luenen 2006
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Fernsehfonds Austria

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