A prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, Hannah Maynard (Fox) is leading a trial against a former Yugoslavian commander accused of war crimes. When her star witness turns up dead, Hannah enlists the help of the victim’s sister, Mira (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’s Marinca), who’s reluctant to revisit the ghosts of her past. Even a court as august as the ICT isn’t exempt from shady backroom dealings, however, and Hannah learns the hard way that justice sometimes takes a backseat to bureaucratic influences.
It may sound like a simple lawyer-fights-for-righteousness tale, but this ostensible thriller is really an examination of two courageous female protagonists, both of whom find defeat at the intersection of the personal and the political. Director Hans-Christian Schmid’s previous film, Requiem (2006), managed to detail a young woman’s demonic possession without resorting to cheap frights, and he once again proves he has a knack for using genre conventions merely as a launching point for psychological studies. With a documentary-like aesthetic and an absence of bathos found in many courtroom dramas, Storm’s remarkable poignancy is made all the more palpable by its restraint.—Andrew Grant