[Ruby Hornet will be attending the 49th Chicago International Film Festival from 10/10 – 10/24. Be sure to follow along as we bring you coverage from the longest-running competitive international film festival in the country. You can find all of our coverage from this year’s CIFF here.]
Director: Denis Dercourt
Country: Germany and France
CIFF Screenings: October 20, 2013 (8:30pm), October 21, 2013 (1:00pm)
During the mid-’80s in Germany, Paul tricks Georg into “handing over” his girlfriend, Anna, by forging a handwritten love letter. In exchange, Georg makes Paul agree to a pact stating he can have Anna or someone exactly the same whenever he wants. Paul then chooses a girl for Georg to take. Decades later, Paul and Anna are happily married with two teenage kids when Georg returns as Paul’s boss. Following his arrival, multiple situations arise, causing Paul’s paranoia to grow over his old friend. However, who is really threatening whom?
A Pact is a dark psychological thriller about one secret that inexplicably took over the lives everybody involved, both directly and indirectly. The film plays out much like a play or an opera with its extremely high dramatic tone, classical, orchestral musical scores, and even leitmotifs that set the tone for upcoming scenes. A Pact sets a tense tone that most other so-called thrillers wished they could create and maintain. Once you begin to get a grasp on the narrative and what’s at play, multiple twists and surprises occur, leaving audiences on the edges of their seats and constantly guessing what comes next.
Score: 7 out of 10