Directed by acclaimed Austrian filmmaker Barbara Albert (Free Radicals), Falling is a “charming, intelligent and low-key” (Time Out London) human drama about five independent women, former classmates who have forged different lives since their school days, who are reunited for the funeral of a beloved teacher. Nina (Nina Proll Amen) is drifting through existence with neither a job, nor a father for her unborn child. Shy, ethereal Brigitte has followed the group’s idol into education and activism. Alex is a buttoned-down career woman struggling to balance personal needs with professional goals. Cool, calm actress Carmen (Free Radicals’ Kathrin Resetarits) uses her art to avoid genuine intimacy, while loose cannon Nicole desperately seeks to be closer with her estranged young daughter Daphne.
As the five women reconnect, a day of sober mourning turns into a night of sybaritic celebration. Nina, Brigitte, Alex, Carmen, Nicole and Daphne share secrets large and small while reopening wounds old and new. Nina struggles to accept the prospect of sharing her half-lived life with an unwanted child. Alex tries to lose herself in a random and passionless act of debauchery. Carmen and Brigitte confess to a devastating shared past love, and Nicole reveals just how far into the margins of society she has wandered. The reunion transforms into a journey, and Falling’s funny, bittersweet drama becomes an impressionistic road movie that keenly essays contemporary women’s lives by connecting the fragile emotional truth of youthful idealism with the stark facts of adult reality.
Austrian housewife Manu’s narrow escape from the catastrophic consequences of “The Butterfly Effect” aboard an airliner only sets her up for an even more shockingly random fate. As the devastating results of a traffic accident transform Manu’s family and the young occupants of the other car, the personal and circumstantial fallout envelopes an entire community. Raw sexuality, burgeoning romance, suburban sprawl and unsolved child abduction form a four-season dramatic fresco that exposes the lonely yearning and thwarted redemption ricocheting the human particles of Free Radicals off of each other.
Boasting a first-rate cast featuring “scene stealer” (The New York Post) Deborah Ten Brink as Manu’s young daughter and Michael Haneke regular Georg Friedrich (The Piano Teacher, Dog Days) as her husband, Free Radicals walks a stylistic and thematic tightrope suspended between open-hearted spirituality and unblinking realism. Barbara Albert’s keen eye for physical detail and sympathetic ear for the muted cries of modern isolation incisively enlivens Free Radicals with “terrific visual and dramatic ideas.” (The Village Voice)