Interview: "Labyrinth of Lies" Director on Obsession, Oscars and How Directing is Like Playing Music
Jose here. When we first meet Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling) in Labyrinth of Lies, he’s a tenacious, idealistic prosecutor, who refuses to let a young woman get away unscathed from a minor traffic ticket with the notion that the law should be abided no matter what. His world is turned upside down upon discovering that the system he respects so much is overcrowded with former Nazis who were never prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. When his boss Fritz Bauer (Gert Voss) sees his potential, he assigns him to investigate the crimes committed by former workers at Auschwitz. Directed by Giulio Ricciarelli, Labyrinth of Lies is a powerful thriller that touches on the subject of obsession in unexpected ways. The film’s plot spans for almost a decade, which allows us to see the frustration and powerlessness felt by the characters. Even knowing the real life outcome, we sometimes doubt Johann will be able to overcome the corruption and indifference of those in power.
The film will represent German at the Academy Awards, and begins its US theatrical release today. I spoke to director Ricciarelli about his unique directorial style, the theme of obsession and creating supporting characters worthy of their own movies.
JOSE: Labyrinth of Lies is essentially a film about obsession. Can you talk about how you used obsession to shape the structure of the film and the character played by Alexander Fehling?