Original Title: Die Frau Hinter der Wand
Martin leaves his protective parents’ home and comes to Berlin as a law student with high hopes. He finds a tiny, run-down flat in a strange, dark apartment block, from which the previous tenant has disappeared without a trace. Having no luck with social contacts at the university, Martin quickly falls for his mysterious landlady Simone, who lives just next door behind a thin wall. Hoping to find trust and intimacy, Martin loses himself in the house’s disturbing world of sex and violence. Deep in the walls, Martin discovers the true horror of his first love.
2013; Germany; Thriller, Psycho; 90 minutes; DCP, HDCAM-SR; 1.33:1 (4:3); 5.1 mix; Original Language: German; Subtitles: English
Grzegorz Muskala, Robby Dannenberg
One Two Films
dffb Berlin, ZDF – Das kleine Fernsehspiel
Sol Bondy, Jamila Wenske
Grzegorz Muskala was born in Poland in 1978. He grew up in Germany. He studied directing at the Polish National Film School in Lodz and at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). His short films have been shown at over 250 Festivals worldwide and have gained more than 30 awards, amongst them the German Short Film Prize in Gold in 2008. Whispers behind the Wall is his feature graduation film.
2011 Long Distance Call
2008 Das Mädchen mit den gelben Strümpfen
2007 Mein Vater schläft
Apr 20 – 29 (nominated)
Sep 18 – 25 (in competition)
Sep 11 – 17
Sep 04 – 28
Jul 16 – 26
Jun 13 – 25
Jun 13 – 19 (in competition)
Jun 13 – 21
Jun 12 – 14
Jun 09 – 13
Jan 22 – 02
Best Original Score
20. OLDENBURG FILM FESTIVAL
Picture in Picture: Fantastic Fest 2014
“It may have been made for television but this claustrophobic German import about a virginal law student and his leggy blonde landlord has style to burn. Equal parts Polanski and Lynch, with a hint of Hitch, makes for some creepily erotic thrills.
Whispers in the Wall may have been shot on a shoestring budget, but Muskala and his crew make every dark corner and chip of peeling paint count. Even a fly making its exit from Martin’s flat to the unknown is downright spooky, and that’s no mean feat. Beware of landlady’s bearing gifts of bared breasts, or suffer the consequences.”
TWITCH: Fantastic Fest 2014 Review
“Whispers Behind the Wall is not terribly interested in the inner lives of Martin and Simone. As noted, their true motivations are kept within their own sweaty bodies, allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusion. The main characters are both looking out for themselves, which is probably what keeps them bumping and crashing against each other.
Sure, they’re next door neighbors. Sure, they’re landlady and tenant. Sure, they’re both in good physical shape and hungry for sensual pleasures. More than that, though, they’re both driven by a desire to possess the other. And, without spoiling anything, that’s a large part of why the movie works as well as it does, as a modest, modern, twisting, and churning film noir.”
“Super small scale thriller that has a very high level of tension and lots of intentional and very uncomfortable laughs. It’s a perfect mixture of well-worn elements (naive kid, sexy blond, erotic tension, weird behavior, hints of danger) stirred together and cooked in a claustrophobic location. It’s a damn near perfect film that makes me think that writer/director Grzegorz Muskala studied every similar thriller and took everything that worked and distilled everything that works perfectly.
Why aren’t more people talking about this great little film? Someone has to pick this wicked little film up.”
International Cinephile Society
This should not be seen as a realistic story, more as a frightening fairy tale, and Muskala has full control over the terror he feeds the audience in small but ever-increasing doses. Vincent Redetzki as Martin is a convincing shy nerdy guy who finds his inner Don Juan, but it is Katharina Heyer who shines as his bewitching seductress, putting the aforementioned Stone to shame with glee. The result is a wonderful cat-and-mouse game that thrills from start to bloody finish.