Just before twilight, a four-engine plane lands on the runway of a country airport. The plane comes to a halt. A single passenger disembarks: Joe, the last survivor of a Jewish family, the Falsches. He has an appointment with them all tonight, forty years after leaving Berlin for New York in 1938. They are all waiting for him in the arrival lounge of the airport. A night of encounters, of celebrations beyond life and death; a meeting which will soon turn into a family psychodrama.Thirteen people will confront each other about their links to Germany, their life in exile, the presence of Lilli among the Falsches; the cries of anguish in the face of death in the camps, incomprehensible to those who went into exile, the Berlin of today, where nobody remembers the Falsches – not even Joe, who would prefer to forget, and never see them again.
The Dardennes’ first fiction film is an adaptation of a play by Belgian writer René Kalisky about the melancholy reunion of a family of holocaust survivors in the Berlin airport. Formally, Falsch appears to be a world away from the Dardennes’ filmmaking as we know it: exactingly framed, severely stylized, and dedicated to exploring “the relationship between theater and cinema.” However, like those later films, Falsch is invested in the perusal of the extreme spiritual limits of its characters. Starring the wonderful Bruno Cremer.