Marc Bauder’s fiction feature debut The System screened on Tuesday night at the IFI as part of German Film Week. A taut, well-written thriller, The System introduces us to Mike Hiller (Jacob Matschenz), a young layabout who gets involved with a former East German secret service agent Konrad Böhm (Bernhard Schütz) now working as an international lobbyist to secure the future profits from a deal to build a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Böhm introduces Hiller to a world above petty crime and after exchanging his hoodie for a suit seduces him to the dark side of capitalism.
The System delves into the underbelly of corruption, blackmail, politics, power and profit. Yet as the film develops we learn that there is so much more that actually brings the two together and it is the personal rather than the political that paves their fate.
A smart and sophisticated film, The System is marked by its 3 central standout performances – Jacob Matschenz as the young malcontent, Jenny Schily as his stoic mother, and Bernhard Schütz, enthralling in his role as the Machiavellian shrewd operator.
The German Fim Week at the IFI concludes this evening with the screening of Stopped on Track, Andreas Dresen’s moving drama of a family man suffering from a mailgnant brain tumour – a film that has garnered a multitude of awards and promises to be a fitting end to a fine week of German film.
Tickets are available from the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or online at www.ifi.ie