Set in the wintery Swiss countryside, a disillusioned criminal investigator tries to understand an older fine artist’s gradual decline into dementia and xenophobia culminating in her murdering her Muslim neighbor.
Like Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, inspector Manser gets woken from uneasy sleep to be assigned the case of Ms. Nebel, an aging fine artist suspected of killing her immigrant neighbor, Mr. Hosseini. His investigation takes him on a journey into a world reminiscent of the Bohemian author’s.
The film destabilizes time, reality and truth into blurry elements, repeating scenes, and morphing pieces of fragmented memories. Extended moments of time paint an impalpable picture of Mr. Hosseini’s murder at the hands of Ms. Nebel; the shocking act inspired from her skewed interpretation of news radio. This parallels Inspector Manser’s own decline into desolation.
Shot with a minimal cast and crew, M – ONLY THESE DAYS moves in slow loops through a truly bizarre murder investigation, which becomes less and less the focus of the story, being replaced by themes such as dementia, xenophobia and the influence of news media.
Filled with captivating, timeless images of a wintery, almost deserted Swiss countryside, haunting pictures of Ms. Nebel’s fine art, accompanied by radio news inspired by real life events, the film is set to an unsettling minimalistic score by renown Swiss composer Esther Roth, featuring only piano and upright bass.
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