Fantasia Review: ‘Free Country’ is a stark, engaging mystery

Free Country

Reconciling the past with a new and different present is a difficult task. A radical change in circumstances can upend your entire world and all the rules you live by. This is, in part, the setup for Free Country, director Christian Alvart’s murder mystery thriller.

Set in Eastern Germany, just two years after Germany was no longer two countries, two detectives come to a small town to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls. Patrick, the detective from the West, is an idealist moulded by the democracy he’s lived under his entire life. Markus, the detective from the East, is a brute with a dark past and cynicism held over from a career under Soviet rule.

These opposing perspectives create conflict between the two men as they try to solve the mystery. As a result, each is forced to examine themselves and question whether they are genuinely the men they believe themselves to be.

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