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Black comedy on ZDF: “Karigula”: Can Karla love Charlie enough to kill him?

A clown, a murderer and love meet – that’s how a ZDF film begins. This is not a joke to make you laugh out loud. It’s a tragicomic chamber play that will have your heart pounding.

Clown Charly can’t do it anymore. He can’t make people laugh anymore, even if he pays them to. And so he doesn’t want to anymore. He’s looking for someone to take his life. Because he can’t do that either. But that’s not the catch, which is what the black comedy “Karigula – Monster of Love” is about (in the ZDF media library since July 8th, and also linear on ZDF on August 19th at 12:30 a.m.). Because the chosen serial killer Karla can only kill those she loves.

Charly’s big last role

They meet when even clown Charly’s last bow on a bridge, not on a stage, does not lead to the end of his life as hoped. He does not fall into the raging water, but remains hanging upside down above it, crying for help – and serial killer Karla hears him just as she is about to dispose of her current love, cut into pieces and packed hermetically. She kidnaps Charlie and for a moment the clown with a death wish appears to be scared to death.

But Karla lets him go, speeds away in her van and he calls after her: “Wait, I want to die!” Now Charlie begins his attempts to win the murderer over to his death mission: “I’m an atheist, you can do whatever you want with my body.”

The serial killer, however, has other plans for him. She, a butcher by profession, teaches him how to kill so that he can credibly confess to her crimes. From this web begins a tender but downright bloody love – with the viewer’s heart pounding in the chest.

A film for the home cinema

More difficult to digest than funny, more tragedy than comedy, this 80-minute emotional film is part of the “Shooting Stars – Young Cinema on ZDF” series in July and August on ZDF. A contrasting program to the onset of darkness on a warm summer evening, because “Karigula – Monster of Love” is made up of dark color worlds and a music and soundscape that will make you turn up the volume. If you have the choice, it is a piece that belongs in a home cinema with a large screen and good sound quality rather than just on a notebook.

Director and screenwriter Carsten Unger has chosen an exciting and difficult style for his film: “We instinctively follow the expressionist film of the 1920s, searching, experimenting, sometimes clumsy and yet expressive in the chamber play,” he explained to ZDF.

What is this love?

He is downright enthusiastic about his leading actors Ben Becker and Sabine Timoteo: “Their faces and the power of the film music form the anchor on which the chamber play repeatedly soars to insane heights, until the cinematic space breaks open and all genre conventions are suddenly overcome to tell a strange and sincere story about love.”

But that’s not all. The film about the feelings of a sad clown and the longing of a serial killer is actually a film about the big question: What is love and what does it do to us?

The ZDF junior editorial team Das kleine Fernsehspiel presents the series “Shooting Stars” – this summer for the twelfth time. The five comedies also include “The Black Square”, “Sweet Disaster”, “The Ordinaries” and “Everyone Wants to Be Loved”.

Source: Stern

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