© MFA/Filmagentinnen

Schmidts Katze
Germany 2015

Opening 24 Sep 2015

Directed by: Marc Schlegel
Writing credits: Stephanie Toewe-Rimkeit, Marc Schlegel, Julie Alfonsi, Matthias Drescher, Xao Seffcheque
Principal actors: Michael Lott, Christiane Seidel, Michael Kessler, Franziska Traub, Alexander E. Fennon

Werner Schmidt’s cat survives the first five minutes of the film, until he is run over by Schmidt himself in the driveway, while neighbor Inge looks on in disbelief. So much for the cat, but we must not judge Werner (Michael Lott) too sharply. After all, the death of his mother, with whom he has lived all his life, has pitched him into a depression; he is reserved and uncommunicative. The neighbors in his small town of well-kept houses worry about him and discuss eligible women for introduction. Other topics at the regular meetings of their vigilante committee are their bowling games and the mysterious pyromaniac, who sets fire to automobiles.

Little do they know, but the offender is one of their own. In his well-equipped basement, Schmidt builds explosives into model cars. He drives the model under a parked car by remote control, and sets off the bomb. This is very relaxing for Schmidt, who has more reasons to relax than ever before. Sybille (German-American actress Christiane Seidel) is a young woman who witnesses this crime; he drags her to his house in order to prevent her from revealing his secret. Little does he know but her life is much more dangerous than his, and she relishes the chance to hide out at his house. She has angered the Chinese-German real estate Mafia. She convinces Schmidt to search her apartment for a lost object (think: snow globes) and also to save HER cat. Thus, Schmidt proves that he is a match against the threat of international crime.

Director Marc Schlegel has won various prizes for short films, so it is not surprising that he is quite successful with this, his first full-length film. It can be classified as a black comedy and plays in Baden-Württemberg. Schlegel says, “Humor is very important. Also, nobody thinks twice if a car burns up in Berlin (or even Hamburg), but in a small town, the neighbors would certainly organize a committee to watch over and defend their property. This is fun for 90 minutes of relaxation; watch for the Chinese in Lederhosen! (Becky Tan)

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