Hope on the road of despair

Talent Press Guadalajara participant Luis Vaca reviews Kai Parlange's INNER SPACE (ESPACIO INTERIOR).

Kai Parlange's INNER SPACE.

“There is no more interesting spectacle in life than the spectacle of death.” Edmond Dantés

INNER SPACE is a movie based on real facts. Played by actor Kuno Becker, the film tells the story of a Mexican architect's days in captivity of a that led to the creation of Lázaro’s character.

The story goes quickly through the abduction so that the capture of the victim does not distract the attention away from the story; for the film is not about insecurity and violence. In a press conference, actor Kuno Becker said: “INNER SPACE does not pretend to be a film about kidnapping; but about a guy that survives in spite of the circumstances and manages to turn things in his favor. It was a spiritual journey, a quite human one, that he experienced and that now I am permitted to reenact. It’s the best role I’ve ever had.”

After being captured, Lázaro is isolated in a small room in which he can only access minimal belongings. The conditions of his tiny cell and the shock caused by the abduction sink the character into a deep depression which he will overcome later on. The cell design, the usage of a closed-circuit camera to monitor the victim’s activity and the clothing used by the kidnappers give the movie a disturbing allure, which will increase with long-length silences and just a light bulb to illuminate the room.

Thus, this psychological thriller centers the dramatic tension on the role played by the man’s strength against himself, for the kidnappers are an alien factor that expose Lázaro to a difficult mental game that he manages to overcome through faith, and the memories of his family. In this way, we can say that the director’s goal is achieved by making a movie about hope starting from the atrocious circumstances in which the main character was involved.

When Edmond Dantés, the main character of Alexandre Dumas' famous novel “The Count of Monte Cristo”, was subjugated to the cruelest tortures during his seclusion in the mythical dungeon of the Château d’If, he suffered a similar process in which faith also played an essential role. In his case in particular, the feeling of revenge was important too, but this makes us ponder the importance of faith in controlling the human psyche; which in its oldest conception, the Greek one, it was a synonym for strength.

Psychiatrist Kübler-Ross, in her notes about thanatology mentioned the five stages of human acceptance. Said process starts with denial, turning into anger, followed by a “pact” that allows balancing the emotional strength caused by trauma, resultant in depression and finally, the reaching of acceptance. If we think it through, Lázaro’s behavior follows this pattern, making him a credible character.

Even though we share the character’s fear for a few moments, especially at the moment when he escapes, I wonder: Is really human strength against adversity the theme of this film? Or is it just an attempt to recreate an interesting story out of morbid fascination aroused by the horrifying circumstances in which he was held captive?