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Wolfgang Fischer

An unusual and provocative allegory of personal responsibility in the face of the migrant crisis, Styx received glowing reviews from audiences and critics alike at film festivals around the globe including Berlin, where it was awarded the Europa Cinemas Label Prize. Tense from the get go, this film starts out as an absorbing story of endeavour and emerges as a compelling tale of morality and survival.

“…one of this year’s most provocative and gripping dramas.”

Successful emergency doctor Rieke (Susanne Wolff) embodies a Western ideal of happiness and achievement. Whilst on holiday, she attempts to fulfil a long-held dream of sailing alone from Gibraltar to Ascension Island in the Atlantic. A very competent sailor, all goes well until she encounters a damaged boat overloaded with desperate refugees. Stricken by their plight, she tries her best to help them, but as the situation worsens, she is forced to make a life or death decision.

The film’s immersive sound design places the audience at the centre of the action, with Benedict Beuenfel’s precise photography imbuing even the vast ocean with a sense of claustrophobia. Bolstered by director Wolfgang Fischer’s masterful storytelling and encompassing themes of racism and empathy, Styx is one of this year’s most provocative and gripping dramas.