Cleveland International Film Festival } March 27 – April 7, 2019 } Tower City Cinemas

BIRGIT HAAS MUST BE KILLED
(Il Faut Tuer Birgit Haas)

 

Year: 1981
Country: France
Run Time: 105 minutes

BIRGIT HAAS MUST BE KILLED

Director Laurent Heynemann (1977's "The Question") does more with his latest film than tell a highly suspenseful spy story; he also involves his audience in the psychological twists that illuminate the complex characters. At the center of the plot is Athanase (Philippe Noiret), an aging spy who has worked with unquestioning loyalty for his top-secret, counter-intelligence agency "Hangar" since he organized it 30 years ago. He faces the changing methods of a new generation in the form of Colonna, a cold, calculating agent whose scheme to kill a German woman terrorist includes framing an innocent man for the crime. Enter Charles Bauman (Jean Rochefort), an unemployed, weak-willed man caught in an unhappy marriage. He is maneuvered to become the terrorist's lover to help disguise her murder as a crime of passion. The Kafkaesque plot turns with clockwork precision until a new factor suddenly appears - Athanase starts to like his unwitting pawn. Soon Colonna's real motives, and even the terrorist's guilt, come into question, and Athanase's predicament grows more complex. Finally he begins to examine his own motives and ethics. The interplay of characters heightens the drama of this tautly constructed psychological thriller.



"An eerie, fantastic tale of undercover intrigue." - Judith Crist, WOR-TV & The New York Journal

Screenplay
Pierre Fabre, Laurent Heynemann and Caroline Huppert

Producer
Yves Gasser and Daniel Messere

Cinematography
Jean-Francois Gondre

Editing
Armand Psenng and Jacques Comets

Principal Cast
Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort, Lisa Kreuzer, Bernard Le Coq

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