Ben Heisenberg’s German drama “Der Rauber” (The Robber), which was released in 2010, is about a bank robber who also happens to be an accomplished marathon runner. Johann Kastenberger, an Austrian long-distance runner and serial bank robber, served as the inspiration for the main character Johann Rettenberger.
“The Robber” begins with Johann (Andreas Lust), who has just been freed from prison on parole, returning to his life of crime. He seeks assistance from an old acquaintance named Erika (Franziska Weisz), who offers him a place to stay and with whom he soon develops a relationship, despite his peculiar personality trait of being a loner who doesn’t communicate much.
He trains for several marathons and wins a number of them, but he also has a frantic habit of robbing banks. Johann has a very odd demeanor and seems more like an obsessed individual whose only goal is in robbing others and fleeing. He has no interest in money. In fact, a person like him may not even have any overarching goal, only an inside satisfaction although that leaves no trace on his face.
Andreas Lust captures this complex character with aplomb as a highly skilled athlete in his field, an endorphin addict, a lover, and a robber motivated by inner ferocity. The film is a psychological thriller with philosophical overtones about an enigmatic man who lives alone and has some sort of deeply repressed or concealed feelings.
It’s interesting how the plot leaves many questions unanswered, including those regarding Johann’s past, his relationship with the woman, and the parole officer’s violent attempt to persuade Johann to cooperate. The adrenaline addiction of a person who doesn’t care about anything, not even the money he steals, is one of the many things about “The Robber” (Der Rauber), however, that intrigues you.
Here is a trailer for the movie “The Robber / Der Rauber“
Director: Benjamin Heisenberg
Writer: Benjamin Heisenberg and Martin Prinz
Starring: Andreas Lust, Franziska Weisz, Markus Schleinzer, Peter Vilnai
Cinematography: Reinhold Vorschneider
Release Date/Year: March 4, 2010 (Germany)