"Himmelverbot" (original title)
Director: Andrei Schwartz
Gemany, documentary, 86 min, AG
Romanian-born director Andrei Schwartz met Gabriel Hrib, who had been sentenced to life for murdering a public prosecutor, in 2002, when he was shooting his film “Jailbirds” at the high security prison of Rahova near Bucharest. After more than 20 years Hrib is finally released on probation, into a country he knows only from the Ceauşescu era. Romania, now a part of the European Union, has changed, including a new jurisdiction that allows early releases. Very few of those with a life sentence benefited from it so far. This documentary film about Gabriel Hrib’s attempt to live e decent life and to cope with the irredeemable guilt of killing two people is not only a portrait of an ambivalent man. It is also a reflection about the intesnsive in conflict-ridden relationship between the director and his protagonist, as well as a parable about Romanias difficult walk on the tightrope into a Europe that is shaken by economic crisis.