Archive of films Something to Remind Me / Toter Mann

2001, 88 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2002

An inconspicuous and not necessarily attractive lawyer named Thomas discovers, to his great surprise, that the beauty he’s met at the pool returns his attentions.... This Hitchcockesque story presents an ostensibly chance encounter between a lawyer and a mysterious young woman – a couple drawn together by a brutal murder committed long ago and a longing for revenge which gets out of control.


Lawyer Thomas likes everything to be perfectly clear. He needs to be in control of every situation and his life is going exactly as planned. Every morning before going to work, Thomas goes to the pool for a swim. One day he meets the beautiful and mysterious Leyla and he can’t get her out of his mind. Leyla is the antithesis of his mapped-out life, with its unchanging rules and regulations. Maybe that’s why he falls in love with Leyla; maybe it’s precisely her cold beauty and mystery that correspond so well with Thomas’ secret dreams. But Leyla disappears one day without a trace, without Thomas having gotten as close to her as he might have liked. When he meets her again she is somehow completely different. She works in the cafeteria of the company which employs Thomas’ client, Blum, in a resocialising programme. Blum has served a lengthy sentence for a brutal murder, but strangely Leyla seems to have found a liking for this rather unattractive and boorish man. Is it possible that for her own particular reasons the young woman is hiding something in connection with Thomas and his work, or is it merely a series of coincidences?

About the director

Christian Petzold (b. 1960, Hilden, Germany) grew up in Haan, a sleepy little town with no movie theatre. He graduated from secondary school in 1979 and then fulfilled his military requirement doing community service at the local YMCA’s film club. In 1981 he moved to Berlin where he graduated in German studies and theatre science. From 1989 to 1994 he studied at the Berlin Film and Television Academy. His feature The State I Am In (Die innere Sicherheit), shown last year at Karlovy Vary, is considered one of the best German films of recent years, and received a number of domestic and international awards. Filmography: Mission (1987, short), Weiber (1989, short), Ostwärts (1991, short), Das warme Geld (1993, short), Pilotinnen (1995), Cuba Libre (1996), Die Beischlafdiebin (1998), The State I Am In (2000), Something to Remid Me (Toter Mann, 2001).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Christian Petzold
Screenplay: Christian Petzold
Dir. of Photography: Hans Fromm
Music: Stephan Will
Editor: Bettina Böhler
Producer: Bettina Reitz
Production: teamWorx, Produktion für Kino und Fernsehen GmbH
Cast: Nina Hoss, André Hennicke, Sven Pippig, Heinrich Schmieder

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