Toxic masculinity: “As loud as you can” on ZDF
A rape in a luxury hotel. A man from a rich family drugs a hostess, uses and beats her – outwardly he plays the good father of a family. An important film on ZDF.
From the night that shattered her life, Maja (Nina Gummich) only scraps of memories. She wakes up in a luxury hotel in Hamburg in the morning. Stark naked, in a daze, her body bruised from abuse. Through a veil of fog, she sees a well-groomed man buttoning his suit, talking about a “hot night” and closing the door behind him.
What happened? Rarely has a German television film shown the perspective of a raped woman so radically. In a spate of crime fiction that uses crimes against women as a superficial plot element, Esther Bialas’ thriller So Loud You Can stands out from the sky. This Monday it runs at 8:15 p.m ZDF.
Flashback: Maja is standing with her friend Kim (Friederike Becht) in a parade of red-uniformed hostesses who are gaped at by a multitude of old white men. It is the annual “Gentlemen’s Evening”, a meeting place for wealthy entrepreneurs, lawyers and other hard-working networkers from the Hanseatic business elite. And now the cozy part of the evening with “good conversations” should begin. While maintaining their nepotism, businessmen flirt and grope wherever they can.
When the two friends finally call it a day and want to celebrate their last job as a hostess before starting their own practice, Kim gets a drink. But she doesn’t even take a sip because she met her old school friend Max. She accepts Max’s offer to drive her to her apartment. Maya stays behind. She drinks the cocktail. The glass was unattended for a short time.
The next day nothing is the same. Particularly disturbing: the friends even identify the perpetrator. But Maja’s ad because of rape with knockout drops comes to nothing. The son of an entrepreneur and supposedly clean family man does not deny sex. But he insists that everything happened voluntarily. Maja would like to forget and have her old life back, but the crime keeps catching up with her. Flashbacks keep coming up. Kim doesn’t want to put up with it and starts investigating on her own. In the environment of the illustrious men’s club, Kim encounters further rapes and a network of relationships and accomplices. And the people who want to cover everything up are already getting closer to her in ways she never expected.
Nina Gummich, who plays Maja, was initially surprised and believed that the roles had been mixed up. “I’m more likely to be seen as a strong, tough powerWoman seen, which can quickly open the flap.” For decades, the film industry has been spreading an image: “Victims have to be narrow and pale and whispering, a strong woman might not have had such a sexual assault,” said Gummich in the ZDF interview. The producer Heike Wiehle-Timm doesn’t see it that way, she stands for a very modern view: “Any woman can become a victim. The really interesting question is how we can deal with it.” Society is far from over with the issue of abuse of power.
“Highly dangerous” is not a sufficient description of toxic masculinity in the upper class, says her colleague Becht in a dpa interview. “The words ‘toxic masculinity’ speak for themselves. And I don’t want that combination in my life.”
The film in the media library