Anatomy of a Fall

Anatomy of a Fall
A gripping legal drama about how the truth can be subjective.

Anatomy of a Fall

Release Date: October 27, 2023
Runtime: 02:31
A woman is suspected of her husband’s murder, and their blind son faces a moral dilemma as the sole witness.

Table of Contents

A German author is indicted for the death of her husband in . Sandra Voyter () is a successful German-born novelist living with her husband Samuel Maleski () and their visually impaired son Daniel () at an isolated chalet in the French Alps. One day, Daniel comes home from walking his dog to find his father dead on the ground, having fallen from the attic. The cause of death is inconclusive, but the police find enough evidence to indict Sandra for Samuel's murder. With the help of her lawyer friend Vincent Renzi (), Sandra prepares her defence, of which Daniel will be a crucial witness.

Anatomy of a Fall Synopsis

Anatomy of a Fall is a legal drama co-written and directed by Justine Triet. The film stars German actress Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann) as a novelist indicted for the murder of her husband. The prosecution headed by the Grand Council () has little evidence to go by, except for blood splatter on a shed and a recording of an argument Sandra had with her husband the day before his death. As such, the case becomes dependent on the testimony of Sandra and Samuel's son Daniel, who has to be watched at all times by court-appointed supervisor Marge Berger ().

My Thoughts on Anatomy of a Fall

It is stated at one point in Anatomy of a Fall that the goal of a trial is to find the truth. However, in actuality, the jury would only have to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is this reasonable doubt that plays a significant role in the story of Anatomy of a Fall, as more is revealed about the tumultuous state of Sandra's relationship with her husband.

In the back-and-forth arguments of the film's trial scenes, the prosecution tries to argue that the latest of Sandra's many fights with her husband led to him being attacked and falling from the attic. However, the defence counterargues that Samuel had fallen into a deep depression after the accident that took his son's eyesight, resulting in him finally committing suicide. Both arguments are entirely valid; however, Justine Triet makes the narrative decision not to reveal what is objectively true.

Instead, Anatomy of a Fall ends up having a level of ambiguity in the conclusion, including the final testimony by Daniel. This helps to make a very gripping legal drama about how the truth can be subjective. This is a film that can probably have multiple different interpretations, and it is all the better for it.

Trailer for Anatomy of a Fall

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.