The latest fiction from acclaimed filmmaker Philipp Gröning (Into Great Silence) is a chilling account of a young family’s unraveling and the desperate attempts taken to protect a child’s innocence. With echoes of Bergman and Haneke, The Police Officer’s Wife explores, in intimiste strokes, the dark underside of love, desire, power and shame.
The Police Officer's Wife
Though his earlier work garnered accolades and awards, Philip Gröning's mesmerizing, meditative, nearly threehour 2005 documentary Into Great Silence — an exceedingly intimate and elegant portrait of the daily life of Carthusian monks in a monastery perched high in the French Alps — confirmed his status as a visionary filmmaker. In his highly anticipated new fiction feature, Gröning is working once again in long form and in another cloistered environment, as he plunges us into the solipsistic world of a seemingly perfect German family.
A handsome young couple and their darling daughter live in a stacked, square apartment in a small town. The father is a police officer; the mother spends all her time doting on their child. Together the three laugh, spend picture-perfect Sundays in the woods, are loving and playful. Their physical and emotional intimacy seems impervious to the outside world, and yet, the purity of their bond cannot withstand the sinister effects of the father's profession.
A chilling account of a family's unravelling
and the desperate attempts to protect
a child's innocence, The Police Officer's
Wife ventures into Bergman and Haneke
territory as it explores the dark underside of love, desire, power and shame, and
the loss of subjectivity. Told using an
imaginatively chaptered structure that
fluctuates between moments of levity and
fear, bleakness and beauty, the film echoes
the unpredictable rhythms of everyday life
while subtly and disturbingly evoking an
insidious transference of violence. With
fearless and flawless performances from
the actors and a clever, claustrophobic
use of space, this increasingly tense tale is
composed of small-scale events, mysteries
and gestures that gradually cohere to form
a haunting, deeply unsettling whole.