Flucht Ins Schilf (1953)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - Austria  |  
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Literally translated as Flight into the Reeds, Flucht ins Schilf was released in England and the U.S. as Brutality. The film is a surprisingly neorealist exercise from the Austrian film industry, which in the early 1950s tended to specialize in escapist operettas. Location-filmed in a bizarre reed jungle on the Austro-Hungarian border, the film is populated with Swamp Water-type Slavic eccentrics who seem cut off from civilization. The main character is Alexander Riss (Alexander Kerszt), a constable who tries to learn the reasons behind the brutal killing of a local youth. Riss' girlfriend Elizabeth (Ilka Windisch, in her first major role) can provide an alibi for one of the accused, but her words will mean lasting unhappiness for the people the audience cares about. The last few reels are a maelstrom of flashbacks which either clear or exonerate suspects (these scenes are rather confusing in the heavily re-edited American version). Cheaply produced, and enacted mostly by local amateurs, Flucht ins Schilf has its own raw power.

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Keywords

alibi, girlfriend, investigation, killing, murder, police