Free Radicals ~ (2003, Austria) ~ Netflix Stream

Yes, life is bleak. But throw me a bone – or a life raft – will ‘ya? Depressing movies do not usually depress me, but this Austrian film directed by Barbara Albert so thoroughly goes down that path that it seems there is no return, no hope, no grace, no chance of redemption.The lives portrayed are vacuous, the sex engaged in is joyless, the emotional malaise is all-encompassing.

A film of fate, Manu (Kathrin Resetarits) miraculously survives an airplane crash. The sole survivor. She cheated death, but six years later, she is in a head-on collision and dies. From there the story concerns itself with the survivors of this accident (her husband and child, her best friend, the high-schoolers in the other car). There is one scene (it might have been a couple) that takes place in some sort of role-playing therapy group. Ludicrous. The acting is generally very good, but not good enough to peak my interest in this exercise in futility.


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