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Breathing [DVD]

Thomas Schubert , Karin Lischka , Karl Markovics    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: £10.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Thomas Schubert, Karin Lischka, Gerhard Liebman, Georg Friederich
  • Directors: Karl Markovics
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Verve Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sep 2012
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007TWHE6A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,283 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Roman Kogler (Thomas Schubert) is 19 years old and has lived all his life in institutions. Abandoned by his mother as a young child and raised in an orphanage, he is now serving time in a juvenile detention centre having accidentally killed a boy of his own age in a brawl. A solitary boy with an uncommunicative attitude, he has no friends, family or connections to turn to in the outside world. But when threatened with a life behind bars unless he finds a job and sticks to it, he eventually finds a probation job shifting dead bodies at the municipal morgue in Vienna. When Roman is one day faced with a dead woman who bears his family name, it occurs to him that this may be the mother who gave him up for adoption and he begins to explore his past.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I fought hard not to fall in love with this movie, but I lost that battle. Words seem inadequate to describe a movie that communicates so effectively with very few words, words that only hold the story together but never carry the full weight of its power. But all I have here is words, so I must try.

Breathing is the story of Roman Kogler, a 19-year-old inmate of a juvenile detention center where he has lived since he was 14 and killed a boy who had been bullying him. Roman was given up by his overwhelmed teenage mother soon after his birth (she had almost killed him to stop his crying) and has spent his whole life in orphanages and group homes, where the bullying incident occurred.

He is almost catatonic, with no idea how to relate to other human beings. He's like a wounded wild animal held in a cage, never looking anyone in the eye and almost never speaking; I didn't count, but I'd be surprised if he said more than 50 words in the whole movie. Inside the tortured, terrified shell is a sweet and gentle boy tired of being alone but with no idea how to come out; a chance encounter with an American girl on a train is especially touching and lovely.

Thomas Schubert, the totally inexperienced actor who plays him (never even in a school play, and went to the audition only because a friend he wanted to see was going) does it all with his eyes, his face, and his body language. To say it's a powerful performance is a pitifully inadequate understatement. He is amazing.

This is a very, very great movie, the first feature written and directed by Austrian actor Karl Markovics. It is quiet and unpredictable and deeply moving, with none of the cheap emotional manipulation, gut-wrenching melodrama and gratuitous plot twists I was afraid of after a lifetime of watching American movies. Breathing is beautiful, simple, powerful and profoundly satisfying.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is one of those films that you just don't know what to expect, it is about Roman Kugler Thomas Schubert). When we meet him he is in a Youth Detention Centre awaiting a parole hearing. He has been abandoned by his mother at an early age and now has committed the crime of accidentally killing a boy some years before. He has spent his whole life in institutions and seems to lack empathy with any one as no one has ever card for him.

He is told that without a probationer job, the likelihood of being granted parole is akin to a snowballs chance in hell. But he just can't seem to hold one down. Then he happens upon a job advert working for the municipal morgue in Vienna and is amazed when they take him on. This is something you have to have a strong stomach for, and one of the many allusions to the `breathing' in the title, is when he is told to breathe through his mouth; to avoid the stench of death. There are many references to breathing some subtle, others less so.

Then he has to deal with a corpse of a woman with his own surname and he gets to thinking about the past and his own mother who started his hapless life and he starts to look for that past.

This is one of those films that has you captivated but it is hard to explain why. There is loads to see and take in, but you have to do it yourself, nothing is sign posted and that is really good as it is treating the viewer as an adult. There are some scenes of death which make it look less dignified than passing wind in front of royalty, but that is life some profanity and mild nudity, but it is all done in a realistic and tasteful way.

Director Karl Morkovics (`The Counterfeiters') has created something touching in its simplicity and believable in its out of the ordinariness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking and Amazing 9 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of those great movies that sticks with you. It is well made and on initial viewing has believable characters, good acting and a plot that works. What makes this movie so great is that it works on several levels. When I initially viewed it, I though of it as a good film. After a couple of hours, I started to realize that that the film activates a higher level of consciousness and that there are several themes that activated my subconscious. I viewed the film a couple of days ago and still can't get it out my mind. I am going to re-watch it again. Everything about the film moves it from good to full fantastic. The acting is outstanding. If you don't view this film you will be missing one of the great contemporary cinematic treats.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars highly original 16 April 2013
By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Thomas Schubert gives a very good performance in this film and is certainly a pleasure to watch even if the character is also rather heartbreaking in his misfortunes. The focus on morgue work is unusual, but as the character says, someone has to do it. The comparison with Fish Tank made on the box strikes me as not being very accurate, beyond the fact that both films stick closely to a young protagonist who has an uncaring mother, and build audience empathy with them. Breathing is the stranger film, certainly, but I did find it a bit too macabre, with quite so many corpses, and also quite such coldness generally shown to Roman. It seems to be a style you find in Austrian cinema, from Haneke's films to Jessica Hausner (Lourdes) to the recent Michael (which I find execrable) - why the unremitting look at such dark subject matter through an unmoving, rather clinical lens? Breathing is, however, one of the least sterile of these films, and consequently more rewarding.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, depressing and slow.
Watching this film is like watching paint dry. All the settings are ugly, there are no likeable people in it, the handling of corpses seems gratuitous and one feels cheated by the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tony Heyes
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film
I enjoyed this film. Especially the fleeting train scene. But I felt this film was far too distant. Although there was some equilibrium at the end, it wasn't as vivid as some other... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joseph Merriman
3.0 out of 5 stars Average film but worth a watch
A young man in a juvenile detention centre doesnt get on with anyone and seems to hate the world. He gets offered a job at the morgue where he gets on ok because of course he... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Fraz
3.0 out of 5 stars breathless
like a lot of these films,the film information was better than the film itself, but if you don't watch you cannot comment.
Published 12 months ago by Chris Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor of Les Quatres Cents Coups
The lead character, Roman Kogler, in this film is portrayed wearing a deadpan face into which we learn to read his thoughts and emotions as he, at age 19, undergoes the last days... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dan Filson
5.0 out of 5 stars Funerals, Prisons, Sex: Goth-great!
Another modern (gay) classic, although not strictly gay, but enough male beauty to count as such and imagine more. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dr Horreur
4.0 out of 5 stars And breathe....
This arrived through the post the other day via Love Film. Can't remember putting it on the list to be honest. However watch it I did. Read more
Published 16 months ago by SfromL
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