From the New York Times:
IN THE FADE Directed by Fatih Akin Crime, Drama R 1h 46m
By MAGNOLIA PICTURES 2:08
By A.O. SCOTT DEC. 26, 2017
“In the Fade,” the new film by Fatih Akin, is divided into three parts. The first two follow a pattern that will be familiar to “Law & Order” fans.
“Law & Order” is of course world-famous for being completely un-figure-out-able. Who will the real killer turn out to be: the Puerto Rican transgender sex worker, the black felon with all the Crips tattoos who converted to Nation of Islam on Death Row, or coal industry lawyer Choate Saltonstall Crowninshield VII of Park Avenue?
A crime is investigated, and then a trial conducted, with a few twists and reversals on the way to the verdict. The emphasis, though, falls less on the procedural aspects of the case than its psychological effects, specifically on Katja Sekerci (Diane Kruger), a German woman whose husband and young son are killed in a bombing in Hamburg.
Mr. Akin, whose previous features include the explosive “Head-On” …
Which is a pretty good movie.
Because her husband, Nuri (Numan Akar), was a Turkish immigrant and a former drug dealer, the police raise the specters of Islamist terrorism and gang activity. Katja is adamant: “Nazis killed my husband.”
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
She has the grim satisfaction of being right.
Wow, I never saw that coming …
… The accused murderers, a young married couple, are defended by a tall, bald, sarcastic lawyer (Johannes Krisch) who is perhaps a bit too transparently villainous. But he does succeed in galvanizing the audience’s disgust, and in reframing the story as a conflict between the desire for justice and the drive for vengeance.
This is a venerable theme in movies, driving the plots of most of westerns. In this instance, it carries an extra jolt of political relevance. How should liberal societies deal with homegrown political extremists, who seek protection from the democratic norms and institutions they are committed to destroying? How should the victims of far-right-wing violence fight back?
Surely, introducing Middle Eastern and West Asian forms of justice such as clan vendettas, acid attacks, gang rapes, and mob-pillaging of the entire neighborhood of the offender would be appropriate innovations in northwestern European jurisprudence in order to make immigrants feel more at home.