Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Sydney Film Festival is on now! Click here to check out our must-see films with the SWITCH team's reviews.x
review, What Doesn't Kill Us, What, Doesn't, Kill, Us, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Christian Berkel, Johanna Ter Steege, Sophie Rois, Bjarne Mädel, Barbara Auer, Mark Waschke, Peter Lohmeyer, August Zirner, Jenny Schily, Oliver Broumis, Sandra Nettelbeck, Drama

WAS UNS NICHT UMBRINGT

★★★

A TOUCHING DRAMA FOR ROMANTICS

GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
4th June 2019

Psychotherapist Max (August Zirner, ‘The Counterfeiters’) is a divorced father of two teenage daughters, with a headstrong ex-wife (Barbara Auer) for a best friend, a handful of odd patients and a new dog. His psychotherapy study is a second home and metaphoric cage (the film opens with a shot of caged animals at an animal shelter) for patients reeling from death, loss, heartbreak and existential doubt. They include a dog-lover with a deep emptiness inside him, a conspiracy theorist, a writer stuck on a missing ex, a homosexual pilot whose dying partner’s family is keeping him away from the man he loves, and a sound designer having an affair with a married man. There’s also a coolly efficient woman who works at a zoo, accompanied by a lonely man (Bjarne Mädel, ‘25 km/h’) trying to find her sensitive side.

'WHAT DOESN'T KILL US' TRAILER

‘What Doesn’t Kills Us’ is director Sandra Nettelbeck’s return to German filmmaking and to the themes of the string of drama-comedies which founded her reputation. In 2001, Nettelbeck wrote and directed her most widely-known film, the multiple-award winning ‘Mostly Martha’ (remade in 2007 by Warner Bros. as the bland ‘No Reservations’). That movie's main character, Martha Klein, was an accomplished, controlling chef who worked in a chic German restaurant but struggled with major personal issues outside the kitchen and visited a therapist regularly. Martha represented the typical character in a Nettelbeck film: professionals who are no longer able to face the daily lives they feel unable to control. Max, the hero of ‘What Doesn’t Kills Us’, is the kind of guy that Nettelbeck’s characters would usually have to visit in order to get their lives under control.

Already juggling a mix of depressed patients, Max doesn’t need any new challenges. Instead he’s in desperate need of some rest and relaxation (at one point, a man on the street expresses mild concern for Max, who fantasises about embracing him in gratitude). His life is further complicated by Sophie, a compulsive gambler with relationship issues, who regularly shows up late for her appointments. Max slowly realises he's falling for Sophie, and the more he tries to keep their therapist/patient relationship on a professional level, the more their lives become entangled.

The film weaves a lot of unexpected connections and narrative threads (some of them rather loosely) with its multitude of characters, following them throughout their day-to-day lives and linking the stories (sometimes tenuously) via Max’s therapy sessions.

The film weaves a lot of unexpected connections and narrative threads (some of them rather loosely) with its multitude of characters, following them throughout their day-to-day lives and linking the stories (sometimes tenuously) via Max’s therapy sessions. While the film occasionally succumbs to sentimentality and hinges strongly on a sense of hopefulness, it doesn't shy away from showing how broken certain people are and how their despair usually comes from their own mistakes and wrong decisions.

‘What Doesn’t Kill Us’ is squarely aimed at an older audience of incurable romantics. If emotional ballads, montage sequences and romantic ensembles with sentences for titles (‘He’s Just Not That Into You’, 'I’ll See You In My Dreams’, ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’) are your thing, then you will get something out of Sandra Nettelbeck’s latest film.

FAST FACTS
AKA: What Doesn't Kill Us
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 2h 9m
CAST: Christian Berkel
Johanna Ter Steege
Sophie Rois
Bjarne Mädel
Barbara Auer
Mark Waschke
Peter Lohmeyer
August Zirner
Jenny Schily
Oliver Broumis
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Sandra Nettelbeck
PRODUCERS: Jochen Laube
Fabian Maubach
Julia Wagner
SCORE: Volker Bertelmann
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more German Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Lost in Space: The Complete First Season - An exhilarating adventure into the great beyond
TRENDINGWIN LOST IN SPACE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASONAn exhilarating adventure into the great beyond
Hotel Mumbai - A nail-biting account of a real-life drama
TRENDINGWIN HOTEL MUMBAIA nail-biting account of a real-life drama
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
Claire Darling - A French film fail
TRENDINGCLAIRE DARLINGA French film fail
My Big Gay Italian Wedding - A ridiculously fun love story
TRENDINGMY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDINGA ridiculously fun love story
The Dead Don't Die - A zombie comedy that's anything but grave
TRENDINGTHE DEAD DON'T DIEA zombie comedy that's anything but grave
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
The Final Quarter - Tackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
TRENDINGTHE FINAL QUARTERTackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
The Nightingale - A blunt and brutal period piece
TRENDINGTHE NIGHTINGALEA blunt and brutal period piece
Saturday Afternoon - A shocking and abrasive assessment of terrorism
TRENDINGSATURDAY AFTERNOONA shocking and abrasive assessment of terrorism
Tolkien - 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Hobbit' fans, this one's for you
TRENDINGTOLKIEN'Lord of the Rings' and 'Hobbit' fans, this one's for you
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Sydney Film Festival 2019 - The reviews
TRENDINGSYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019The reviews
The Wandering Chef - A delicious tale of human connection
TRENDINGTHE WANDERING CHEFA delicious tale of human connection
Ladyworld - Experimental thriller not so thrilling
TRENDINGLADYWORLDExperimental thriller not so thrilling
Men in Black: International - Wish we could memory wipe this one
TRENDINGMEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONALWish we could memory wipe this one
Never Look Away - An artistic and spiritual epic
TRENDINGNEVER LOOK AWAYAn artistic and spiritual epic
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir - An endearing tale of destiny
TRENDINGTHE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF THE FAKIRAn endearing tale of destiny
The Audience - Mirren reprises her role as The Queen
TRENDINGTHE AUDIENCEMirren reprises her role as The Queen
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us