Kalinka (Au nom de ma fille)
Release Year: 2016
Director: Vincent Garenq
Writers: Julien Rappeneau (screenplay & dialogue), Vincent Garenq (screenplay & dialogue)
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Sebastian Koch, Marie-Josée Croze, Christelle Cornil, Lila-Rose Gilberti, Emma Besson, Christian Kmiotek, Serge Feuillard, Fred Personne, Thérèse Roussel, Tom Hudson, Antoine Milhaud
Based on a true story, the film chronicles the 30 year struggle of a father to bring his daughter’s killer to justice.
Auteuil (Manon des sources, 1986) stars as Bamberski, a man whose daughter dies suddenly while visiting her mother and her new husband. Bamberski becomes convinced that the death was not just bad luck and that his ex-wife’s new doctor husband, Krombach (Sebastian Koch), has something to do with. This suspicion is not completely unfounded because something is definitely off about the case. The suspicion evolves to an obsession and a decades long legal struggle that becomes complicated when Krombach relocates to his native Germany to avoid legal persecution. Auteuil is very good and gives a credible picture of what such an obsession would look like. It ultimately ruins much of his personal life, but by a slow erosion, not melodramatic breakdowns. Koch (Das Leben der Anderen, 2006) is perhaps even better, capturing the double nature of his character very well. An engaging crime drama with a satisfying end, but somehow ends up feeling much longer than its 87 minutes running time. Recommended.
The case developed further after the making of this film. In 2018, Dieter Krombach appealed to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that he had been persecuted twice (in Germany and France) for the same crime. The court rejected his appeal.
Picture Copyright: Another World Entertainment