Roman Kogler (Thomas Schubert) is 19 years old and has lived all his life in institutions. Abandoned by his mother as a young child and raised in an orphanage, he is now serving time in a juvenile detention centre having accidentally killed a boy of his own age in a brawl. A solitary boy with an uncommunicative attitude, he has no friends, family or connections to turn to in the outside world. But when threatened with a life behind bars unless he finds a job and sticks to it, he eventually finds a probation job shifting dead bodies at the municipal morgue in Vienna.
The work is physically and emotionally draining and his co-workers are not exactly welcoming. But when Roman is one day faced with a dead woman who bears his family name, it occurs to him that this may be the mother who gave him up for adoption and he begins to explore his past.
A compelling drama distinguished by its restrained observational direction and the emotional intensity of the performances, BREATHING marks the start of a promising new career for Karl Markovics, the veteran Austrian actor Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) turned Director.
Critically acclaimed, BREATHING was awarded the Label Europa Cinemas award for best European Film in Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, and went on to win Best Film at the Sarajevo Film Festival.
"A beautiful piece of filmmaking...will undoubtedly invite comparisons with Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank"
Sight & Sound
"Startling and incisive"
Little White Lies