Knife in the Head

Knife in the Head

(Messer im Kopf)
Reinhard Hauff / D, 1978
German / Czech subtitles, 108 min

Gast: Reinhard Hauff

In the course of a police raid on a supposedly subversive youth centre, the bio-geneticist Hoffmann is shot. He is seriously injured and loses his memory and the ability to speak. Afterwards, when he comes out of a coma, he realises that he is being subjected to speculation surrounding his identity. The police and the media regard him as a dangerous terrorist, whose original profession was just a front. Nonetheless, his friends describe Hoffmann as a harmless scientist, who has to withstand hateful police terror. Left-wing activists see Hoffmann as a martyr. Under constant police guard, however, Hoffmann resists any attempt to manipulate him. As he learns to speak and write again, he goes on an arduous quest to discover his past.

Reinhard Hauff’s gloomy drama Knife in the Head captures the social climate after the bloody end to the “German Autumn”, which divided Germany into two politically irreconcilable camps.

Besides Bruno Ganz ("Downfall", "Wings of Desire") in the role of Hoffmann, Angela Winkler ("The Tin Drum", "The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum") also turns in an excellent performance as his wife. This feature film has long been seen as a document of its time.

Related links:
Official page, (7.3/10)