For young photojournalist Claire (Teresa Palmer) it is only a one-night stand, when she meets the English teacher Andi (Max Riemelt) in Berlin. But for Andi it is more. After a wild night, Andi’s old apartment is left in the east of the city, the door is blocked by a huge castle. The window made of safety glass. Even her Sim card has disappeared. Suddenly Claire understands that she is vulnerable to Andi.
For the sociopath Andi, on the other hand, it is a normal relationship with everyday rituals and small attentions, such as gifting flowers. He does not see Claire locked up and raped. Instead, he writes SMS in Claire’s name, while she is treated more brutally and can only survive through adaptation – until she has the chance to flee.
The third feature of the Australian director Cate Shortland (“Lore”, Somersault “) is the story of the control boy Andi and his victim Claire, who can only survive by adapting to his tormentor. Not for no reason is the film known for the famous Stockholm Syndrome, which occurs when kidnappers fall in love with the kidnappers.
From Claire’s point of view, the audience learns what psychological strategies the young woman uses to endure and survive the relentless horrortrip. The result is a turbulent psychothriller, who tells a similar story to Biopic “3096” and shows the young actor Max Riemelt (“Freistaat”, “Auf dem Leben”, “Napola – Elite for the Führer”) in his hitherto most sombre role.
The story of the thriller “Berlin Syndrom” is based on the book of the same name by the Australian author Melanie Joosten. In 2012, the author of “Berlin Syndrom” was awarded the prize of the Kathleen Mitchell Foundation.