With THE GOLDEN GLOVE Fatih Akin released Heinz Strunk’s scandalous novel as a film to great outcry at the Berlinale. The scandal is homemade – visually the thriller turns out to be harmless. The script is particularly controversial. We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
Hamburg in the 1970s. At first glance, Fritz “Fiete” Honka (Jonas Dassler) is a pitiable loser. The man with the broken face and crooked teeth spends his nights partying in the neighborhood bar “Zum Goldenen Mitten”, where he is in good company with all sorts of bizarre characters. But this is exactly where he begins to stalk unsuspecting women. None of the regulars suspect that the seemingly harmless Fiete is actually a monster who first rapes his victims, then brutally murders them and finally dismembers them in order to stow them behind a small door in his kitchen. So that no smell gets outside, he covers the apartment with scented trees…
Movie explanation of the ending
Fatih Akin (“Out of nowhere”) has to endure a lot at the moment. After his new film “The Golden Glove” celebrated an expectedly highly controversial premiere at this year’s Berlinale, after which opinions about the serial killer portrait ranged from enthusiasm to disgust, the Hamburg native now also has to contend with the sensational reporting, which prompted a quote from the press conference. “It’s best for women not to watch the film at all!” It says 1:1 verbatim, which the (tabloid) press sometimes turned into a “may” or, best of all, hid the context of this controversial exclamation behind a paywall for advertising purposes. A storm of indignation swept through the internet – with Akin’s statement only emphasizing how disgustingly he staged the violence against women in “The Golden Glove” in order to show men in particular that there was nothing aesthetic or even romantic about it can. The warning to the women had something of the meaning of a pronounced precautionary measure – just like warning a vegan not to watch a particularly drastic documentary about pig fattening. In short: Of course may Women watching “The Golden Glove” should, like any part of the audience, have a strong stomach. In adapting Heinz Strunk’s milieu novel, Akin relies on a production that is as unpleasant as possible (and not necessarily drastic in terms of the level of violence), which ensures that serial killer Fritz Honka, unlike Ted Bundy or Charles Manson, is definitely not de-culted afterwards becomes.
Jonas Dassler takes on the role of the Hamburg woman murderer Fritz Honka.
When describing “The Golden Glove,” it makes sense to start with the very first scene. Many early press reviews stated that one would already witness a brutal act of violence involving newcomer Jonas Dassler (“The Silent Classroom”) in the role of Fritz Honka, a woman is bloodily and explicitly sawed in half. In a way he does – at least we see him preparing and then hear him cutting off his victim’s head with his saw. We can’t see anything about it – and (almost) nothing will change in the next two hours. “The Golden Glove” creates its high shock factor primarily from what you don’t see. In interaction with the messy Reeperbahn environment of the 1970s (including its countless bizarre characters) and primarily set in Fritz Honka’s filthy and dirty place (you think you can actually smell the mixture of the stench of decay, the lack of fresh air and the smells of food), what Akin created here is The surroundings are much more unpleasant to look at than detailed shots of the undoubtedly ultra-brutal acts of violence. Honka is seen beating up women, and there are several scenes in which he tries to rape his victims. But Akin’s regular cameraman Rainer Klausmann (“Tschick”) always keeps a respectful distance from the action, sometimes preferring to only film the victim and her reactions, so as to never enjoy the overall picture of Honka humiliating the women. And when, in one scene, he hits the face of Frida, played phenomenally and devotedly by “Stromberg” star Martina Eitner-Acheampong, with several bottles, the film simply saves the subsequent cut to the crushed visage completely.
Unlike in the book, in which Heinz Strunk also deals in detail with Honka’s childhood and youth, Fatih Akin, who is also responsible for the script, goes straight into his murderous life. This is quite a clever move; Finally, in the case of Honka, it is once again the motif of the sad childhood, which has long since degenerated into a cliché (at least in fiction), that made him what he ended up being in history. By focusing exclusively on Honka’s atrocities, Akin renounces any possibility of explanation, justification or even apology – and yet, after around an hour and a half of running time, he makes a nasty mistake when he makes Honka’s alcohol consumption the source of all evil in a scene accompanied by clumsy suspense music. Beforehand, as a viewer, you witnessed a brief purification and could have felt something like that with compassion, as Honka tries to build a new life without alcohol, before you are finally offended again because he murdered for baser reasons (which included, among other things, pure misogyny) just can’t help it. Fritz Honka as a clear and rational thinking person and not as a degenerate psychopath – it would have reinforced the dimensions of his actions. But as it is, Fatih Akin (unconsciously?) makes alcohol the trigger – and in doing so presents a reason for Honka’s actions that is ultimately even more shallow than the cliché just mentioned about the broken family.
Fritz Honka has invited his next victim, Gerda (Margarete Tiesel), into his filthy apartment.
The actors are above all else. While that of Tristan Göbel (“Tschick”) The character of Willi takes on a much more important role in the novel and seems to function somewhat clumsily as an explanatory bear for non-Hamburgers. Jonas Dassler, in particular, plays himself into a whole new league as Honka, equipped with a hideous killer grimace, who is extremely unpretentious and frightens himself in the moments of lowest brutality, one does not shy away from full physical exertion. On the other hand, alongside Eitner-Acheampong, Margarete Tiesel is particularly impressive (“The Migrants”), which abandons all inhibitions to portray Honka’s first victim, Gerda Voss, in order to make his violent outbursts absolutely credible. The women act so authentically that it becomes more and more difficult to watch what is happening on screen as the playing time progresses. One would even like to speak of a certain redundancy, especially in the last third, when Honka simply commits another crime against a woman (unlike what we know from many horror films, for example, the staging of the murders hardly changes, instead it’s just about that). to show the same process over and over again in the most unaesthetic way possible). At the same time, this also reinforces the emphasis on the absolutely inedible – at some point Akin makes the violence depicted here unconsumable and thus hits the nail on the head. “The Golden Glove” becomes a film you don’t want to see again. This is probably the only way to adequately deal with the story of a real-life person like Fritz Honka.
Conclusion: Fatih Akin’s “The Golden Glove” primarily makes you not want to see the film again. The Hamburg director has thus found the right intention for his serial killer portrait. Nevertheless, Akin makes a bad mistake when he suddenly seems to present the alcohol as a trigger for Fritz Honka’s actions – this then also causes a very uneasy feeling in the stomach area on another level.
“The Golden Glove” can be seen in USA cinemas from February 21st.