Free Country

Two cops investigate the disappearance of two teen sisters in a remote town, where it sees like everyone has something to hide – including the bodies…

In Fall of 1992, police inspectors Patrick and Markus are sent off to a remote corner of the country to examine the disappearance of two teen sisters, 15 and 16. Did the two pretty girls just run away from their hick town, or did something more sinister happen to them? In this remote part of the country, the effects of the East German regime still muddy the waters. No one saw anything, the inspectors are greeted by iron silence. A photo negative showing the two girls naked and tied up in a hunting lodge seems to indicate a sex crime has been committed. The terrible suspicion is tragically confirmed when the girls’ dead bodies are found, raped and brutally murdered. While the relatives of other young women who have been missing for years come forward, the iron silence toward the cops turns into open hostility. Who has what to hide and why? When the detectives start to unravel the mystery, they soon wind up in danger themselves...

A nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller about two very different cops chasing a serial killer and running into a wall of silence and suspicion. Densely staged by genre expert Christian Alvart ("Cut Off", "Don’t. Get. Out!", "Antibodies") and starring Trystan Pütter ("Toni Erdmann", "Perfume", "Transit“), Felix Kramer ("Dark", "Dogs of Berlin") and Nora Waldstätten (”Personal Shopper”).



– Press Clippings –

“The gloomy locations, the abstract beauty of the aerial photos and the unsettling soundtrack create an almost mystical atmosphere. An oppressive, visually and narrative captivating thriller about the German reunification”

“The crime thriller […] is a successful remake, both faithful to and nevertheless very different from the remarkable Marshland from Spanish director Alberto Rodriguez (who had written the original story with Rafael Cobos). Though the main ingredients are the same (two antagonistic policemen investigating the disappearances of young women in a place ruled by elusive forces), Christian Alvart and his co-writer Siegfried Kamml have put together a recipe with sufficiently personal flavours for their reinterpretation to be just as thrilling as their Spanish source of inspiration.”

“Free Country is an exciting thriller, which at the same time paints a bleak picture of the time after the fall of the Wall. In addition to the two main actors, the strong shots of the film are convincing, which are more than pure local color, but serve as a metaphor for the mixture of standstill and departure that is at the center of Alvart's film.”

“Despite its familiarity, there’s something gripping about the way Alvart picks at this particular cultural scab within the trappings of a crime thriller. Maybe it’s the committed, entrancing performances of its leads. Maybe it’s the bleak, portentous look of the place. But Free Country offers enough variation on the formula and nails the fundamentals so acutely, that it’s impossible to look away from it.”
The Spool

„Alvart amalgamates these images with a narrative style that not only makes use of classic gaps, but also enriches them with associative spaces that surprise, shock, are fun and touch. Alvart shows a country that is condemned to remain silent because it has not only lost its ideology, but also the most basic social models of attachment such as family and friendships. A profound loss that is replaced by an amoral, silent anger, for which the Free Land finds impressive images“