Kaminsky

Sort of a German corollary to the American TV plays of the 50s, Michael Lahn's film is fluid, classically constructed, filled with vivid characterizations and well-timed climaxes, and almost entirely conventional. The action is set during a hot summer night in a desolate Berlin police station (unity of time and place!); a cynical, experienced cop (Klaus Lowitsch) enjoys the admiration of his young colleague (Alexander Radszun), until his brutal treatment of a runaway teenager (Beate Finckh) reveals a few chinks in the armor. The picture can't really be faulted for what it is—a machine designed to give an audience the sense of experiencing some strong emotions while carefully keeping things within the safe boundaries of a highly formal structure—but its superficiality and impersonality are finally wearying. With Hannelore Elsner, who rounds out the compact cast of characters as the senior cop's disillusioned, unfaithful wife.

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