An intriguing departure for Loach, scripted by Trevor Griffiths, this concerns the voluntary exile of an East German Liedermacher (a kind of radical singer/songwriter) to West Berlin, where his worst fears are confirmed: he has swopped intimidation and censorship for the kind of 'repressive tolerance' that only American record executives and progressive GDR capitalists can convey in all its seductive horror. So far, so good. Superbly composed and cleverly paced, this story of one man's unillusioned exile gives way to a second half in which a thriller-style subplot concerning the singer's vanished father (tracked down to England) takes over, but fails to match the tension and interest of what has gone before. A flawed but always stimulating and intelligent film, with fine performances from Pannach (debuting as the exile) and Steiner (as his father).
Cast and crew