Circle of Deceit : Summary

Length: 110 Min. Format: 35mm Colour

Premiere 15.10.1981, Wiesbaden (FBW "especially valuable")

German Film Award 1982 (Film Ribbon in Gold, Actor Jerzy Skolimowski)
IFF Straßburg 1982 (Best Cinematography for Igor Luther)

A man rushes for cover in the bullet-ridden streets of Bab Edriss, the former business district of Beirut's historical quarter. The setting is real. Militiamen are still engaged in lengthy combat. Standing in the midst of this landscape of ruins is the Hotel Commodore. From here, reporter Laschen (Bruno Ganz) and his photographer Hoffmann (Jerzy Skolimowski) start out on their nightly wanderings through the city that is trembling under the thundering artillery. Laschen, driven by a death wish, is overwhelmed every single morning by life which, with its oriental diversity, adamantly demands to persist. The sharpshooters clean their firearms in readiness and even the victims of the coming night still have much to accomplish. In this chaos of death and consternation, Laschen encounters a woman. Ariane Nassar (Hanna Schygulla) is an employee at the German Consulate with a passion for being an Arab woman. It is her greatest wish to adopt a child. Laschen accompanies her to Christian convents and Palestinian camps. Laschen can feel that he is closer to reality during this search than in the theatre of war. He also believes that he will be able to write again by Ariane's side.

The madness of war, however, escalates into an absurd massacre. The crowd of the journalists leaves for Damascus and Cairo. Laschen refuses to leave Beirut. Until one morning when he stands face to face with his own blood-spattered reflection in the mirror.