8 films in 1 categories
Chris Wright, Stefan Kolbe

Photo Film




Romanian, English

Original Title




Italian philosopher Lanza del Vasto saw justice as the “ultimate expression of legitimate violence, a deviation from rationality which repays evil for evil and wants to call the evil we repay goodness.” Without being so radical, Chris Wright and Stefan Kolbe’s film nevertheless questions the limits of the prison systems and, moreover, those of the idea of punishment, as well as that of redemption. Their endeavour is centered on Stefan S., who finishes his 15-year reclusion sentence for killing one of his female co-workers. The film unexpectedly benefits from the protagonist’s refusal to appear in the frame, which forces the authors to find various methods to portray him, for instance a puppet with a petrified, childishly round, slightly sinister face which reflects both the prisoner’s opacity, as well as the limits of our methods in decoding a gesture such as the one he committed. From a project which initially attempts to examine a criminal’s psyche and to follow his gradual acclimatization to the rules and values of the world waiting for him outside the prison walls, the film turns into an acknowledgement of the failure of any explicative endeavour, first of all due to the barriers that we put up against the excessive closeness to a man who seems to be fully contained by the barbaric act he committed. Through this deflected path, the film manages to make Stefan S. exist not only hors-cadre, but also, more significantly, hors-crime. (Liri Alienor Chapelan)

awards and festivals

Berlin International Film Festival 2021
IDFA 2021
CPH:DOX 2021
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2021