TIFF 2016: ‘Marija’

In Michael Koch’s feature film debut Marija, the audience observes the dishevelled title character’s routine and her struggle to support herself – it’s certainly enduring to watch.

Once Marija cozies up to her landlord Cem in an act of desperation, lucrative opportunities suddenly open.  Through various roles including being an assistant, a witness, and business partner, Marija builds a sustainable relationship with her newfound contacts.  Her life gets increasingly difficult when her business becomes too personal.

Koch’s Marija is a serviceable character drama about cold personalities learning how to fit in.  Margarita Breitkreiz holds our attention as Marija as she strikes a strong balance between apathy and urgency while playing a character that isn’t particularly genial in the first place.  She’s surrounded by competent male performers who bark orders the entire time.  While the alpha male attitudes may exhaust some movie goers, the film’s most compelling moments come from when Marija learns how to take control.

An empowering film, but a plain one.


Marija screens at TIFF on: 

Monday, September 12 at 6:45 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Tuesday, September 13 at 7:15 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre (press and industry)
Wednesday, September 14 at 9:00 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
Sunday, September 18 at 11:45 a.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre

Rating: 18A
Language: Germany, Switzerland
Runtime: 101 minutes

For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.

Buy tickets here.

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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