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Black Box

The police imposes a ban on going out due to an unspecified suspicion of terrorism in an apartment building in Berlin. Under the pressure from outside, loyalties crumble, relationships and once trusted assumptions collapse, distrust and fear run ...


I have often asked myself how many different life models and worldviews can be found in the externally peaceful Berlin apartment building I live in, where I co-exist in a confined space. During the Covid-19 pandemic there was a stronger feeling that you couldn‘t agree on basic assumptions in small and larger social settings. Asli Özge is dealing with a similar issue in BLACK BOX. In a Berlin apartment building, the police imposes a ban on going out due to an unspecified suspicion of terrorism. A car is towed, an apartment is searched, the trapped residents meet in the courtyard, which has been a contested area for a long time. The new building management has moved garbage cans, a protest initiative is forming, a child may or may not have peed on the doorstep. A central conflict is the ownership issue, the building consists of rentals and condominiums. The loyalties of the residents become fragile under external pressure, relationships and assumptions collide, distrust and fear are rampant. It is often filmed from a confined perspective: with outward peeks at apartments, reflections in windows and distorted images, Özge shows how you watch each other, how everyone only has a bit of information and construct realities from it. The fact that this microcosm is a metaphor for all of society is clear and Asli Özges diagnosis can‘t be disputed. What is difficult is the very slow building of the escalation which doesn‘t allow for a lot of narrative tension, leading to the overall view of a messy, unsolvable situation.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland/Belgien 2023, 120 min
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Director: Aslı Özge
Author: Asli Özge
DOP: Emre Erkmen
Montage: Patricia Rommel
Distributor: Port-Au-Prince Pictures
Cast: Luise Heyer, Felix Kramer, Christian Berkel, Timur Magomedgadzhiev, Manal Issa, André Szymanski, Sascha Alexander Geršak, Jonathan Berlin, Anne Ratte-Polle
Release: 10.08.2023



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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