Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.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

WHAT DOESN'T KILL US

★★★

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: Was Uns Nicht Umbringt
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. 
Umbrella Home Entertainment Prize Pack - Get copies of Gunda, King Otto and Relic to enjoy at home!
TRENDINGWIN UMBRELLA HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRIZE PACKGet copies of Gunda, King Otto and Relic to enjoy at home!
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The Keeper - The true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
TRENDINGTHE KEEPERThe true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
Jungle Cruise - Sailing into a new Disney classic adventure
TRENDINGJUNGLE CRUISESailing into a new Disney classic adventure
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Suicide Squad - A woefully dull and incomprehensible mess
TRENDINGSUICIDE SQUADA woefully dull and incomprehensible mess
The Princess Diaries - 20 years since Genovia found its princess
TRENDINGTHE PRINCESS DIARIES20 years since Genovia found its princess
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Matilda - Revolting children for 25 years
TRENDINGMATILDARevolting children for 25 years
Golden Voices - Immigration struggles with amusing challenges
TRENDINGGOLDEN VOICESImmigration struggles with amusing challenges
Boxing Day Movies 2020 - The year's biggest films bursting onto cinema screens
TRENDINGBOXING DAY MOVIES 2020The year's biggest films bursting onto cinema screens
Fanny Lye Deliver'd - Feminist folk horror
TRENDINGFANNY LYE DELIVER'DFeminist folk horror
The Last Horns of Africa - The danger, the heartache and the importance of saving the Rhinos
TRENDINGTHE LAST HORNS OF AFRICAThe danger, the heartache and the importance of saving the Rhinos
Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Complete Series - Sketches at a revolution
TRENDINGMONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: THE COMPLETE SERIESSketches at a revolution
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Aiyai: Wrathful Soul - Ambitious but unfocused Aussie horror
TRENDINGAIYAI: WRATHFUL SOULAmbitious but unfocused Aussie horror
Midsommar: The Director's Cut - Ari Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
TRENDINGMIDSOMMAR: THE DIRECTOR'S CUTAri Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!