Tore (Julius Feldmeier) and Benno (Sascha Alexander Gersak) in Nothing Bad Can Happen (Drafthouse Films)
Leave it to the Germans to make you squirm in your seat. Nothing Bad Can Happen, a film directed by Katrin Gebbe, is a German drama about faith, love, hope and everything in between. The flick focuses around Tore (Julius Feldmeier), a teenage believer who is part of a group called the Jesus Freaks. Tore and his friends live on very little and roam the streets preaching the word of Jesus.
One day, Tore helps a family fix their car and befriends the father figure, Benno (Sascha Alexander Gersak), who invites him to live with him and his family. Although Benno inadvertently introduces him to love, he also puts Tore through the ultimate test of faith.
During his stay, Tore meets Sanny (Swantje Kohlhof), Benno’s stepdaughter, who has all but given up on life and attempts to give her hope. Tore is is convinced that Benno is a test God has sent for him. He is skinny, physically weak and yet his belief in Jesus is unwavering.
The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section, meant for films with original and different visions and styles, at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. After watching the film, I think it means something more like: You are uncertain if you should have watched this very controversial movie at all.
Perhaps it is because after you watch it, you feel uncertain of whether you too are guilty of horrible crimes just for watching the movie. Maybe it’s the weird feeling in your stomach and the horrifying mental images you can’t shake. One of the motion picture’s most disturbing scenes is when Tore is caught digging through the trash for food by Benno and his wife. The sadistic couple then sit around him and force him to eat the entire rotten poultry and watch him writhe on the ground in pain and wait for him to die.
By this point, you’ve gotten so far that you can’t stop watching. Why? Because you want to finish, you want to believe something good will come out of the whole thing. By the end, the only thing that is for certain is that there are no clear answers. Whether you believe in something or not, Nothing Bad Can Happen definitely leaves you with heavy thoughts.
Nothing Bad Can Happen
In select theaters June 27 (There will be a Skype Q&A with director Katrin Gebbe following the 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. showtimes Friday, June 27 at the Downtown Independent.)
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