Counterparts (Gegenüber)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:30pm
Germany 2007. Director: Jan Bonny
Cast: Matthias Brandt, Victoria Trauttmansdorff, Wotan Wilke Moehring, Susanne Bormann, Anna Brass

VANCOUVER PREMIERE!  Georg Hoffman (Matthias Brandt) is an unassuming, middle-aged police officer admired by his colleagues for his unflappable manner on the job and for his loving relationship with his wife, Anne (Victoria Trauttmansdorff), a primary school teacher. Georg’s home life, however, tells a very different story: Behind closed doors, Anne is prone to uncontrollable rages — and all her anger is aimed at the passive Georg. In an extraordinary performance by Trauttmansdorff, Anne is a woman whose instability is worsened by a financially and emotionally dependent relationship with her scornful father, and further frustrated by a perceived lack of ambition in her husband (whom she calls a loser). As Anne’s sadistic attacks escalate, Georg still refuses to defend himself, and the carefully-constructed façade of the couples’ life begins to crumble. Locked in an endless cycle of love and abuse, and with a well-deserved promotion slipping through his fingers, Georg is finally pushed to the limit . . . “Counterparts is above all about dependencies, love and fear. Violence is only the core of the story, but through violence the narrative’s drama, the shame of the protagonists, and the way they experience their own shortcomings flare up again and again. . . There is hardly any escape from this situation” (director Jan Bonny). Colour, Digibeta video, in German with English subtitles. 96 mins.

Post-screening discussion with Don Wright, M.Ed., Founder and Executive Director of the B.C. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse. Mr. Wright holds two Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. In 2001, the B. C. Human Rights Coalition awarded Mr. Wright the Human Rights Medal of Honour for his pioneering work in the field. Although the BCSMSSA is primarily focused on past sexual abuse or recent sexual assault, it also works with men who were victims of childhood physical abuse as well as men who are victims of domestic violence.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Co-sponsored by B.C. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse.

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