World War II, in the European arena at least, ended with the unconditional surrender of Germany on 8 May 1945. Whilst the fighting may have ended, the ramifications and recriminations rumbled on for decades to come. Whilst the Nuremberg Trials followed and prosecuted the most notable surviving members of the Nazi Party, many escaped this reckoning or fell under the jurisdiction of other courts. The Collini Case documents one such case.
When Hans Meyer (Manfred Zapatka), a noted industrialist, is murdered in his office, it seems like an open and shut case. All the evidence points to Fabrizio Collini (Franco Nero), but his motives remain unclear. Caspar Leinen (Elyas M’Barek) is excited to be assigned as defence counsel for his first major case. However, his enthusiasm soon dissipates when he realises that the murder victim is the man who was like a father to him. He’s desperate to understand why.
The Collini Case is a powerful courtroom drama which brings the ghosts of the Second World War to life. Based on a novel by Ferdinand von Schirach, Caspar travels back through history to tackle a historical injustice. Marco Kreuzpaintner’s film is a masterclass in taut and impeccably structured filmmaking. The cast are all great and it looks good enough to eat but it’s in the careful pacing, editing and writing where it excels. The Collini Case is a masterclass is bold and vital cinema.
The Collini Case is out in cinemas on 10 September.