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Agonie

North American Premiere
Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2016

“Impressive... a memorable melange of fury and early onset melancholia for Europe’s struggling youth” - Jaimey Fisher, SENSES OF CINEMA

Two ordinary young men call Vienna home. Christian lives with his mom while studying to become a judge. Alex, on the other hand, splits his time between the gym and nightclubs. The former is constantly thinking about the future while the latter’s only dream is to escape the suffocating present. Separated by social class, they’ve never heard of one another, nor is there any present indication that their paths should ever cross. This doesn’t negate the fact that they have many traits in common. They both love drinking and partying with their friends, and both are looking for their soul mates. They also share a general resentment towards adults, especially their parents. And there’s this void, a void slowly gnawing at them that they can’t seem to fill — holes in their souls that will transform into an uncontrollable violence, to which one of them will eventually succumb. One grey morning, he’ll commit first-degree murder. Using an ordinary kitchen knife, he will stab a loved one and proceed to cut up the remains. When he’s arrested, he’ll admit to having no motive for the crime. He just had to do it, that’s all. Here is Alex and Christian’s story.

Inspired by true events, AGONIE feels like a paralyzing investigation into today’s youth. With his intentionally frigid style, director David Clay Diaz closely follows the day-to-day lives of two individuals on the verge of imploding. Maintaining some distance from his subjects, he observes rather than attempts to explain the reasoning behind the motive of a crime about to be committed. Reminiscent of Michael Haneke’s work, AGONIE goes beyond a mere exercise in style. Each clinically calculated frame serves as undeniable proof of the filmmaker’s directorial mastery. A first feature that grabs you by the throat as it exposes our shadowy side.

— Simon Laperrière

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