Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
In a kind of ultimate cinema verite fashion, this "diploma picture" by director Josef Roedl tells the story of the actual life of its lead actor, Fritz Binner, who plays Albert, a character who meets his end in a presciently tragic fashion. Albert is a slightly retarded man, living in a rural area of Germany, who is treated with disdain by his father and his town acquaintances. When he turns to drink to relieve his sense of being a ridiculed outcast, he is eventually sufficiently out of control that he is sent to dry out at a mental institution. When he returns, he finds that his father has signed over the family farm to someone else and gotten rid of all his pets. In protest, Albert refuses to move into the family house but lives in an abandoned chicken coop on the property. Increasingly isolated, he is unable to make a meaningful connection even with the town's children, who make fun of him, and eventually he takes his own life. A "graduation picture," is a movie made by a directing student at a major film school in order to receive his degree.
actor, alcoholism, loneliness, mental-illness, mental-retardation, suicide