Echo (2016) - full transcript

Loss and loneliness linger on a thread that connects two ageing parents far away from each other through a fatal accident. A woman in Germany starts a journey to explore the life of an illegal immigrant and finds her loneliness, and an old man in Kosovo whom loss has brought him to the end of his journey.

Good morning. How are you?

I'll check if there's anything new.

I'm sorry, but there is nothing yet.

It's been a month.

It always arrives
at the beginning of the month.

Yes, usually it's very regular,
I don't know!

It's alright.

I'll come back.

You don't need to come so often,
I'll let you know if anything changes.

But my phone is currently not working.

I'll come back.

Don't worry.

-Have a good day.
-You too.

I'll be right back.

That's a good choice.

Not expensive, but very high quality.

Let's go back to finish the paperwork.

This way, please.

Very well. Everything's been paid,

including the ceremony and the plot.

If you could just fill out this form
concerning any special requests.

What kind of flowers, which color,
what kind of music etc.

I would recommend a granite gravestone.

It lasts forever.

You can fill it out at home
and mail it back.

Yes, I'd prefer that.

-There's still time.

Would you please sign here.

Sure. Just a second.

You can come in, Sir.

How are you doing, Ismet?

How have you been feeling lately?

Have you been taking your medication?

You're not coming to your checkups.

Why aren't you coming?
What's the problem?

Let me check your file.

It's been really long.

Are you at least taking your Diazepam?

Or is somebody else treating you?

You need a checkup right away.

Just a minute.




I'll see if I have time.


"My silence is older than me

and stronger than my death

It is my helplessness

When my silence sleeps,
I count the stars

I play with shadows,
I play with knives

In a white pasture
blooms a poppy

My silence carries the weight
of the stone of damnation

and has the tongue of the man
nailed to a rock." (A.P.)

I can't write anymore.

Words don't flow out anymore.
Scared, curled up inside me,

as if out there,
stray dogs were tearing them apart.

Only these voices left now.

Strangled and suppressed voices.

Entangled voices.

My memories whirl in the wind
like dry leaves.

Get lost in the broken labyrinth
of my mind.

I only hear muffled cries
behind charring walls,

only their echo is left.

My memories,
a forsaken building site.

Everything slowly tumbles down.

Clouds of dust.

I can't let you in.
I'm coming, honey!

-You have a daughter, right?

What if this had happened
in your family?

You'll be right there.
What could possibly happen?


-He worked in construction, right?

-Can we leave? I have things to do.
-Right. I'm sorry.

You should contact your son.

We can't do anything here.
The problem isn't us.

Didn't reach anybody?



Are you deaf or what?

Or maybe he just didn't hear us.

Can we come in? We need to talk to you.

Are you alone?

We had a complaint from your neighbors.

They say you broke their window.

And that it's not the first time.

You've been throwing junk
in their garden.

I don't know anything about this, Sir.

Why are you bothering me?

What happened in here?

Is this still from the war?


Don't go any further!

The neighbors won't put up with you
any longer.

Had you been nice to them,
they could have taken care of you.

Old man.

Does anybody look after you?
A son or somebody else?

-You'll burn yourself like this.
-I'm fine.

I don't need anything.
Everything's fine. Are we done?

You can leave.

That sounds like Luan.

He died.

I want to find out more about him,

so I can find his family.

How did he die?

In a car accident.

I just need some information,

so I can find his family.

Nobody knows anything about them.

I didn't really know him that well.

We'd sometimes go
for a beer after work.

But you must have talked
about your private lives.

Didn't he mention his family
or a girlfriend?

Like I said, I didn't really know him.
I'm sorry, I can't help you.

Thank you.

Wait. There's this Albanian bar.

Good morning, Ma'am. We'd like
to talk about the word of God.

Do you have some spare time for us?

Not really, I have things to do.

We don't want to bother you,
just read some words from the Bible.

James 4:14:

"Why, you do not even know
what will happen tomorrow.

What is your life?

You are a mist that appears
for a little while and then vanishes."

What do you think that means?

People can believe
whatever makes them feel better.

But belief is much more than rituals.

It's the language of God
that we understand and feel inside us,

so we can talk to him
and to everybody else in the world.

Well. We could have coffee now,
but I'm at loose ends here.

God's language is inside all of us.

I would like to tell you a story.

There was a man in New York

who was very religious and well-read.

He wanted to find the language of God.

He was obsessed with the search
for the innocence of man,

for paradise in the garden of Eden.

He believed that in this condition
we could grasp the language of God.

Talk to him like Adam did.

He was so obsessed with this idea

that he locked his newborn son
in a dark room for years.

The child had never seen anyone
or talked to anyone.

So that he would be able to grasp
this divine language.

Needless to say it failed.

It caused only pain and suffering

and reduced the child to an animal.

That search was wrong,

because we're all sinners.

But he forgot
that God is inside all of us.

He is love, and he talks with love.

That's the language we use
to talk to him.

You can find him in every language.

We must only love and forgive.

He understands our language,

the language of empathy and love.

Like in the Bible.

Corinthians 13:8:

Love is unending.

The problem with life insurances is

that 30% of all investments
are made by companies abroad.

Plus there's the financial crisis,
low interest rates abroad

and within five years, a 30% drop
of deficit spending in Germany.

All this results
in a hyper-structuring of assets.

Moreover, the long-term prognosis says

that the number of patients
will raise by 9%,

especially among the 36% unemployed,
and the 27% of pensioners.

And we're just talking
about the next two years!

Demographic calculations show

that the 0.3% drop in the birthrate

will debit the pension funds by 3%,

while the number of qualified nurses
will drop by 10%.

This in turn will reduce
the average life expectancy by 0.9%,

and raise
the number of hospital visits by 1.7%.

All that money
doesn't just fall from the skies,

but is based on premiums and returns
of the insurance companies.

You still have a contract
with old conditions.

And you primarily benefit
charitable organizations.

That is, the state won't tax the money
and guarantees the interest rate.

Honestly, today's market
doesn't offer that kind of deal anymore.

This is not a good moment
to make any changes to your contract.

Very well.

Then we have a new benefactor
for 70% of the amount.

And a certain amount
to go into an education fund.

Please put down your name
on the two lines

and sign at the end of the page.

Hello, Weber speaking.



Anybody know a Luan?
Hangs out here, works in construction.

I think I know him.

-Please sit down.
-Thank you.

Luan died in a car accident.

I want to find his family.

That's very nice of you.
But why are you doing this?

Because I think

that parents have the right to know

what happens to their children.

You must be a good mother.

You have a kind heart.

I didn't know Luan so well,
but as far as I know,

he was from Prishtina,
and didn't have a residence permit.

-From Prishtina?

He used to send almost all his money
to his father in Kosovo.

To his father.

Through a bank?

He probably used
money transfer companies.

Maybe that's how you can find
the father's address. But I'm not sure.

Well I guess I could.

Two Raki, please.

Thank you.

Have a raki.

To health.

To health.

What is that, daddy?

It's a machine to record your voices
and keep them inside this box.

So I can have them with me
for all my life.

You can't, you can't do that.

Yes I can.

With this box
I'll always have your voices here.


Yes I will.

Even the rain is dirty,
tainted with smoke from power plants.

Dry rain that cracks
and crackles as it falls on fire.

Raindrops falling
with encapsulated smoke.

Burning as it flows through dry skin.

Rushing through cracked skin canyons.

Scraping pieces of flesh.

And takes it away.

Erosion of memory.

My memory draining down.

Turning it into mud,
food for earthworms.

Which when split in two live on.

Writhing, alive.


Thank you.


Dear Mathias.

It has been such a long time since we...