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Freies Land

Christian Alvart‘s remake of the Spanish thriller LA ISLA MINIMA (2014) is set in the Oderbruch in 1992. A West German inspector and an East German inspector meet in order to investigate a series of murders targeting young girls.


Christian Alvart‘s FREIES LAND is a remake of the Spanish thriller LA ISLA MINIMA (2014) by Alberto Rodríguez Librero which won the Goya for best Spanish film and was nominated for an Oscar five years ago. The original is set in the marshlands of the Guadalquivir delta south of Seville shortly after the end of of Franco fascism and before the coup attempt of the Guardia Civil. Alvart transplants the story in the Oderbruch in 1992. Alvart‘s film even copied the sequences of the original, like the impressive camera pans over the marshland landscape and a car chase over the marsh measows and inner dykes. But the notion of comparing the Spanish situation in 1980 with the one in East Germany in 1992 leads to a lot of confusion here. There are slogans in Gothic lettering in hotel rooms and telephone booths that are from the Nazi era. You could see this detail as a faux pas if the film wasn‘t also telling a story of fascism, but it makes it seem like the Stasi method was identical to the Gestapo or Guardia Civil methods, which is problematic at the very least. The staunchly Catholic morals of the post-Fascist Spanish society also seem misplaced in the sexually liberated GDR. Those who aren‘t as nitpicky will find a solid genre story in which West German commissioner (sensitive, quiet, can‘t shoot, but has a lot of sex) meets with the East German commissioner (brutal, sausage, beer, a dark past, sick) in the winter wasteland of the Oderbruch to investigate a series of murders targeting young girls.

Tom Dorow

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland 2018/2019, 128 min
Language: German
Genre: Crime Drama, Drama
Director: Christian Alvart
Author: Christian Alvart
DOP: Christian Alvart
Montage: Marc Hofmeister
Distributor: Telepool
Cast: Trystan Pütter, Felix Kramer, Nora von Waldstätten, Marius Marx, Leonhard Kunz, Marc Limbach
FSK: 16
Release: 09.01.2020




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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