Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Quite a few years ago, Isaak Kohler (Maximillian Schell) cooly walked up to a man everyone assumed was his friend and shot him dead. This took place in front of dozens of witnesses in a busy restaurant, and there was no question about his guilt. What he never revealed was his motive. He has been in prison serving a twenty year sentence ever since. Perhaps in order to ease his daughter's pain about the incident, he has hired a legal representative to arrange for him to receive a retrial. He is still unforthcoming about his reasons for committing the crime, and invites the struggling lawyer to make something up. This crime and courtroom drama is based on a novel by Friedrich Durrenmatt, whose works are highly respected within the German-speaking intellectual community but whose appeal has proved difficult to translate.