There is something oddly reminiscent of Helen Mirren and Prime Suspect about Storm, a 2009 EU coproduction now available as a foreign film DVD from Film Movement. This is a pretty good political thriller. It would have been better if English subtitles had been available not just for the sequences in German or Serbian. Many characters have an accent and speak in a low voice and away from the camera, making it hard to understand everything in an already complex story.
Hanna Maynard is a prosecutor for the war crimes tribunal in the Hague. When her main witness kills himself, Hannah has a week to discover new evidence before the accused war criminal is set free. She goes to the witness’ funeral and meets Mira, his sister. The sister has her own story to tell if Hanna can get her to testify. This may not be easy as she is being followed and Mira is clearly warned to keep her mouth shut.
This foreign film is a slow paced procedural with a complex story. Political machinations also play a role here. These are the hardest elements of The Storm to keep track of as it is all background stuff.
No doubt The Storm is meant as a commentary on the war crimes tribunal in the Hague and its dealings with the events in the former Yugoslavia.
The short film included on this foreign film DVD is Toyland by Jochen Alexander Freydanik. It won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film at the 81st Academy Awards and it is easy to see why. In 1942 Germany a mother tells her son all the Jewish neighbors are moving to toy land. When he is not in his room one morning, she cannot but think the worst.
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