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The Dispensables She Said - Melissa MacDougall

From the first few frames, I was riveted to the insidious scenes playing out before me in this non- fiction based feature. As The Dispensables (directed by Andreas Arnstedt) continued, as the travesty of events unfolded, I connected with Jacob, an 11-year- old boy (played by Oskar Bockelmann) who was plagued with the fear of living as an orphan.

The beauty of this film lies in the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking struggle of family and the reality and effects of denial. Each character portrayal is executed with purpose, and the relationship between Jacob and Hannah (Kathi Hahn) is the silver-lining that balances the turmoil perfectly. The dark, shadowy scenery plays up the dismal feel of The Dispensables, producing an element of raw emotion from every possible angle.

Wonderfully tragic, brilliantly shot. He Said - Tavis MacDougall Dispensable: Able to be replaced; not necessary

Set amidst post re-unification Germany, a lower-class working family struggles daily to survive. Their only compensation is the gross amount of alcohol that keeps the parents together, then ultimately tears them apart.

Jacob, 11 years old, is left to fend for himself after a series

of horrific events that renders his mother (Steffi Kuhnert) institutionalized and his father (Andre Hennicke) dead by suicide. Paralyzed by the fear of being sent to an orphanage, Jacob conceals the truth of his father’s death, while those around him ignore the obvious signs of abandonment.

The Dispensables is a film that is all too real in any language, from any background and the viewer is left wondering how easy it is for a child to slip through the wide gaps of the system. Thought-provoking and often grisly, The Dispensables can’t be missed.

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