Archive of films Monster´s Ball / Monster´s Ball

2001, 111 min

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Year: 2002

After his son’s suicide, a death row guard enters into a relationship with the wife of a man he recently prepared for execution. This hard story from director Marc Forster is alrerady famous a certain truly long sex scene between the main heroes. Actress Halle Berry took an Academy Award and a Silver Bear at the Berlinale 2002 for her performance.


Hank Grotowski is a guard on death row. His father worked there before him and even his boy, Sonny, has taken up the same line of work. The Grotowskis are inveterate racists, Hank’s wife committed suicide as did his mother, and his relationship with his father is just as disastrous as that with his son. Father and son assist in the execution of a black man named Lawrence Musgrove, but after Hank humiliates Sonny for his ‘weakness’ in the matter, the young emotionally-deprived man takes his own life. Hank immediately quits his job. Musgrove is survived by an obese son and an attractive wife named Leticia, a waitress Hank accidentally meets at the restaurant where he sometimes goes for coffee. He gives her a ride home one night and after a couple of drinks their fleeting acquaintance turns into a passionate affair. In the morning Hank sees a certain photograph which tells him more about the woman of last night’s fling: she’s the executed man´s wife, but he thinks better of letting her in on the secret. It’s only a matter of time, however, before the awkward truth of this new relationship comes out. Actress Halle Berry took an Academy Award and a Silver Bear at Berlin Film Festival 2002 for her performance.

About the director

Marc Forster (b. 1969, Ulm, Germany) grew up in Switzerland. After graduating from secondary school he took off to New York, capital of the world, to study film. He graduated in 1993 but remained in the Big Apple a while longer, shooting two documentary films for European broadcasters: Silent Windows and Our Story. He then got the chance to make Loungers in 1996, a work which took the Audience Award at the Slamdance festival. Shortly afterward he shot the drama Everything Put Together, screened at Sundance. His latest film, Monster’s Ball, was shown in competition at Berlin Film Festival and Halle Berry garnered a Silver Bear for Best Actress.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Director: Marc Forster
Screenplay: Milo Addica, Will Rokos
Dir. of Photography: Roberto Schaefer
Music: Thad Spencer, Chris Beaty, Richard Werbowenko
Editor: Matt Chesse
Producer: Lee Daniels, Eric Kopeloff
Production: Lions Gate Films
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Peter Boyle, Heath Ledger, Sean Combs, Mos Def, Coronji Calhoun, Taylor Simpson, Gabrielle Witcher, Amber Rules, Charles Cowan Jr., Taylor Lagrange, Anthony Bean, Francine Segal, John McConnell, Marcus Lyle Brown, Milo Add

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