IN HER NAME – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Based on the true story of the Kalinka Bamberski murder case. In Her Name tells the daunting story of Andre Bamberski (Daniel Auteuil) who in 1982, after sending his two teenage children on vacation to Germany where his ex-wife Dany (Marie-Josee Croze) and their stepfather, Dr. Krombach (Sebastian Koch) now live, is told over the phone of the death of his 14 year-old daughter, Kalinka (Emma Besson).
Once he arrives to Germany to attend to his daughter’s funeral, Andre becomes suspicious of Dr. Krombach and his story of what happened to his daughter. He is told that Dr. Krombach gave her an iron injection to help her tan better. She had spent the day out at the pool in the sun and perhaps had heat stroke. The Doctor was the one that found her unresponsive and he said he tried everything to resuscitate her including injections for her heart. It’s not until after Andre gets home and has the German autopsy translated into French and looked at by people he knows that the questions start coming up. “Why had the doctor given her injections well after the time of death?” and “Why was he there at the autopsy to begin with?” The botched initial autopsy report raises Andre’s suspensions convinced that Kalinkas’ death was no accident. He has his daughter exhumed and new evidence helps with his investigation.
The film follows him as he doggedly demands that the court system do its job and hold Dr. Krombach accountable for his crime. It takes thirty years for this gripping and emotional legal drama to play out. During this time the good doctor is convicted of raping other teenage patients after giving them what he told them was iron shots but was really a sedative that rendered them unable to move so he could abuse them. Even after that Andre could not get the French courts to press the German government to extradite Dr. Krombach. It’s interesting how he finally manages to get him to France.
This film is based on a true story of a father's determination and obsession to bring his daughter's murderer to justice.
In Her Name is driven by the compelling performances of Daniel Auteuil and Sebastian Koch. If you have children you will understand Andres’ need for justice. This film is a solid movie and I hope it finds its American audience. I give this film a solid B+ Rating.
Directed by Vincent Garenq
Written By Julien Rappeneau, Vincent Garenq
Selig Rating B+
Running Time 1hr 27 min
Drama / Biography
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Sebastian Koch, Marie-Josee Croze
Movie Site: https://en.unifrance.org/movie/39757/kalinka
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.