Shot exclusively in black and white, Dr. Ketel follows the main protagonist through a loud and industrial-looking Neukölln sometime in the near future after the breakdown of Germany’s renowned health care system. Ketel’s call is to help the homeless and penniless with medication and surgery, via back roads if necessary. To do so, he has to break into a pharmacy now and then – attracting more police attention than he gets for his potentially illegal medical work.
Told in three chapters with a mixture of German and English dialogues, the film packs together a critique of contemporary health care, a crime story and a self-discovery trip and wraps it up in film noir cinematography. Most interesting to watch is Amanda Plummer in her role as the brilliant, yet somehow fragile security agent. She plays a detective who wanders Berlin’s streets as Sherlock might have done London’s: seemingly distracted by small details but always a few steps ahead of everyone else.
Dr. Ketel earned de Paoli his director’s degree from the DFFB (Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin). The filmmaker seems to have chosen a very personal topic: the film is dedicated to his father who used to work as a doctor in Neukölln, a fact potentially responsible for the humanity that sweetens the movie’s decidedly sinister undertone. For a chance to ask the filmmakers themselves about the correlation of fact and fiction, check out Central Kino’s special screening on Aug 22 at 20:45.
Dr. Ketel – Der Schatten von Neukölln | Directed by Linus de Paoli (Germany 2011) with Ketel Weber, Amanda Plummer. Starts Aug 22 at Moviemento and at Central Kino with English subs.