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I Am Guilty
I Am Guilty
Actors: Constantin von Jascheroff, Manfred Zapatka, Victoria Trauttmansdorff, Nora von Waldstätten, Devid Striesow
Director: Christoph Hochhäusler
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2007     1hr 30min

In this startling, darkly funny coming-of-age drama, a disaffected teenager embarks on a life of his own brand of crime. The handsome Armin (Constantin von Jascheroff) is fresh out of college and unemployed. Unable to take...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Constantin von Jascheroff, Manfred Zapatka, Victoria Trauttmansdorff, Nora von Waldstätten, Devid Striesow
Director: Christoph Hochhäusler
Creators: Bernhard Keller, Christoph Hochhäusler, Stefan Stabenow, Bettina Brokemper
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: TLA
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/30/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Disturbing Teen
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 02/07/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)


Disturbing Teen

Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

New from TLA Releasing is "I Am Guilty" ("Falscher Bekenner"), a disturbing story about a bright, bored and troubled teenager named Armin. He has a loving family which makes it hard to understand why he is so troubled. His parents care for him and love him very much. Even so he manages to get himself into all sorts of trouble as if he is hungering for the love he already has.
The problem that I had with the movie was the subtitles which made almost no sense at times. The little German I knew told me that something with the subtitles was not quite kosher and this caused me a great deal of confusion. I would have to classify the movie as art house abstraction. The thing that bothers me about abstract movies is that I am never sure I really know what they mean." I am Guilty" is a good movie nevertheless.
What we learn from the movie is about the boredom and dullness of life. Basically we all live the same life. We go to school, we graduate, we get a job, etc. Our existence is simply a "world of repetition". Here we have a young man, bored with life who does not want to become a part of that kind of existence that society forces upon us. He is forced to commit crime to fulfill the need for excitement.
There were times that the movie seemed vague and I wondered if that showed that even with a life of repetition, there is also a degree of insularity in life. The fantasy sequences in the film are brilliant and the acting is wonderful. But there is also that sense of trying to understand what is real and what is imagination. What did Armin do and what did he just imagine he did?
When a movie makes me think, I welcome it. I want to believe that I was thinking correctly and I got no validation of that. The ending is just that--an ending. The movie just ends with no resolution and no tying up of lose ends. I was very surprised that it ended because I was waiting for some grand finale. I suppose that has to come in each viewer's mind.
I realize that this is not an easy movie to watch but on a second viewing it made much more sense. It was so interesting to realize that with all of the differences among people in a society, that we are all basically the same--with variations. Isn't this something we have always known but never wanted to admit? It takes a film like "I Am Guilty" to make us sit up and take notice of who we are, what we are doing and where we are going.
An Investigation into a Lack of Purpose: Contemporary Ennui
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"'Falscher Bekenner' ('I Am Guilty') is a strange little film that seems to beg our indulgence in looking at and pondering the state of mind of our newly graduated college youths who have had everything provided for them to prepare for life - and are clueless as to how to begin fitting into the world. Writer and director Christoph Hochhäusler appears to have a rather bleak look at this generation - or is it the generation that produced the 'new adults' that he is questioning?

Armin Steeb (Constantin von Jascheroff) is a good-looking young fresh college graduate living with his doting parents (Manfred Zapatka and Victoria Trauttmansdorff) who are concerned about Armin's inertia about supporting himself. They assist him in applying for jobs, prepare him for job interviews, and obviously love him and wish for his happiness. Armin is bored: he can barely tolerate the entire family's normalcy, longing for something to light a fire in his life. While walking alone one night he encounters a wrecked automobile containing a dead driver and while he stops to inspect, he soon moves on carrying with him a metal object from the site of the accident. Out of boredom he writes to the police that he is responsible for the accident of what happens to have been the demise of a public official. He takes the found metal object to the police station then leaves without identifying himself.

Armin continues fruitless job interviews but also spends time in front of the glow of his computer monitor having fantasies: we see him defiling public roadside restrooms with graffiti, having bizarre physical liaisons with motorcycle men, and hurtful encounters with love interest contenders. Are these real or are they the products of an unfocused mind that wants more to life than the humdrum day job? Eventually Armin is arrested for his confessed 'crime' - or is he? We are left not knowing how much of what has been on the screen is imagined and what is real.

Christoph Hochhäusler knows his craft: he creates atmospheres that suggest the burring of a mind in flux, he paces his tale well, and he directs a strong cast fluently. While many may view this experimental film with disgust, that may be one of the goals of Hochhäusler. Perhaps he is holding a mirror to the quality of life we have created in the 21st century for our young people who have been raised in an unstructured environment. In retrospect the ennui created here may be a more pointed existentialist statement than we at first recognize. In German with English subtitles. Grady Harp, February 07