Requiem (2006)


Critic Consensus: This harrowing, naturalistic drama holds you in its grip through Huller's intense performance.


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Movie Info

In a small town in 1970's southern Germany, Michaela, 21, has grown up in a deeply religious family. Despite her long battle with epilepsy, Michaela burns to leave home and study at the university. There, she experiences her first taste of freedom, her budding love for Stefan and her friendship with Hanna. Slowly, her protective shell of faith and family starts to crack open, but it results in her having a breakdown. Not a normal epileptic attack, but a frightening onrush of grotesque faces and voices. Afraid of being sent back home to her family, Michaela seeks help from a priest who reinforces her conviction that she is possessed. Although Stefan and Hanna encourage her to seek psychiatric help, they are unable to break through the dense religious and moral ties binding Michaela to her family.

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Sandra Hueller
as Michaela Klinger
Sandra Hüller
as Michaela Klingler
Imogen Kogge
as Marianne Klingler
Burghart Klaussner
as Karl Klingler
Anna Blomeier
as Hanna Imhof
Nicholas Reinke
as Stefan Weiser
Jens Harzer
as Martin Borchert
Walter Schmidinger
as Gerhard Landauer
Friederike Adolph
as Helga Klingler
Irene Kugler
as Heimleiterin Krämer
Johann Adam Oest
as Professor Schneider
Eva Loebau
as Krankenschwester
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Critic Reviews for Requiem

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (16)

Working from an economical and intelligent script by Bernd Lange , Schmid directs his first feature with the easy conviction that eluded the makers of the preposterous Emily Rose.

Nov 24, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The movie ends a little too abruptly, but it features a heartrending performance from Sandra Huller that brought her the best actress award at this year's Berlin Film Festival.

Nov 18, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Stage actress Sandra Huller delivers a stunning, understated performance...

Nov 17, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The nonsensationalistic results are also somewhat ho-hum -- and oddly less convincing than Friedkin's lurid mess, let alone the elegant satanism sagas of Tourneur and Polanski.

Nov 16, 2006 | Full Review…

The confusion and panic and everyday interactions in Requiem feel honest and true-to-life, which has nothing to do with how factual it is, or isn't.

Nov 16, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4

In lesser hands, Requiem would seem merely bleak, but Schmid makes a rigorously urgent and compelling film out of Michaela's odyssey.

Nov 2, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Requiem


a tragic clash of science and superstition inspired by the case of a mentally ill and very religious german girl who died under exorcism in the 70s. the film is understated and plays almost like a documentary

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Don't see this expecting something in the vein of The Exorcist. There aren't any spinning heads or projectile vomiting and no sign of the demon Pazuzu here. Instead, Requiem is a non-sensationalized, non-judgmental look at what happens when mental illness clashes with religion. Based on the same case that inspired The Exorcism of Emily Rose, but the two films are different. Emily Rose focused primarily on a lawyer involved in a court case involving the Priest who performed the exorcism, while Requiem focuses on the woman and is a drama about what can lead someone to believe they are possessed. The topic of exorcism may be easy "go to" material for horror films, but Requiem is not a horror film and the director doesn't decide for us whether or not she is possessed, but instead lets us draw our own conclusions. Lead actress Sandra Huller is really great throughout the film and the handheld camerawork is a nice touch in making the viewer feel as if they are in the room alongside her family. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Like "The exorcism of Emily Rose" this film is (merely) inspired by the true events around Anneliese Michel in Germany of the 70s. A girl raised in strictly catholic terms battles with epilepsy as she is struggling to start a new life as University student. The grasp of her religious upbringing, especially in the shape of her mother, are pretty much choking her, creating an opposite reaction that leads to the church labeling her possessed, culminating in a series of unfortunate exorcism attempts. The film spares us the ugly details of those and reports about the outcome in a final info text. It doesn't give creed to the obsession-theory and therefore doesn't contain horror scenes of demons or anything like that. The movie also doesn't concentrate the blame on a single party involved and simply portrays a person who couldn't function under the pressure she got from many sides, despite of being loved by them none the less. It is the great acting that makes this slow and quiet film interesting and raises it above average. Especially Sandra Hüller in the main role does an extraordinary job.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


The German counterpart of "The exorcism of Emily Rose" but with more emphasis on the family and the human drama. told with lack of grandeur and ostentation, which is not ultimately too impressive, it is a correct approach but the ending was a little anticlimactic for my taste. Sandra Hüller's performance is by far the best of all.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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