Devot is a 2003 German psychological thriller film by director Igor Zaritzky[ext].
A rainy night: A young woman stands at a bridge railing and kicks a stone into the water. Is she considering throwing herself into the water? A man named Henry drives by in a car at that moment and spots her. He honks the horn, they both have a conversation like johns and prostitutes. He takes her to his home. There she introduces herself as Anja and admits that she is not a real prostitute. She gives him back his money, but shortly afterwards tries to sneak away with his wallet. Henry, whose apartment is equipped with video cameras, stops her and ties her to a chair with handcuffs mounted for this purpose. To pressure her, he calls the police and plants drugs in Anja's purse. He tells her the story of the One Thousand and One Nights[wp], in which a woman delays her execution by telling the king a story every night, but withholds the ending for the next evening. Henry now expects Anja to tell him a story as well. Anja tells of a girl named Lilly who suffered from unilateral deafness and was socially excluded because of it. She came into contact with drugs and was eventually raped by several men at a party. She found herself on the street afterwards with her clothes torn and covered in blood. Anja refuses to go on, first telling Henry to call off the police operation. He does so, unties her, and tells her that he has lied to her: the alleged drugs are just dextrose. He takes a tablet, and so does Anja. Anja becomes dizzy.
During the following sex act, Henry exerts force and breath control[wp] on her at Anja's request. At dinner together, she relates Lilly's story. Because of her financial situation, she successfully cheated men out of their money until one day she failed. Anja breaks off and goes to the bathroom to wash herself. Henry watches her through the camera. When she discovers it, he turns off the tape. A little later, he finds her in the bathtub. She has cut her wrist with a razor blade. After futile attempts at resuscitation, Henry decides to bury her in the rain outside the house. In the middle of it, he breaks off. After a nap filled with nightmares, he discovers that Anja is still alive and carries her back into the house. When she wakes up shortly afterwards, she only remembers that she wanted to take a bath. She tells of Lilly's end: she was killed and mutilated by an unknown person. The subsequent investigation yielded nothing.
Anja's memory comes back with time - although Henry's watch is permanently set to three o'clock. She thinks she remembers that Henry killed her with a hairdryer in the bathroom and then cut her vein to cover it up. After she confronts Henry, he throws her out. Outside the building, she discovers the hole in the ground and goes to him again. However, she faints shortly after. She finds herself tied up in the chair again. Henry demands another story from her. After Henry gives up pretending they are still at the beginning of the evening, she says she is dead. He doesn't believe either her words or the obituary from her purse. Henry apologizes and asks that they both be honest with each other from now on. He offers her a ride home. During the drive, a conversation with the same content is seen taking place once in Henry's room and once in the car. Anja, who is not wearing a seatbelt, suddenly grabs the steering wheel. The car hits a bridge abutment. Anja flies through the windshield. Henry limps out of the car and sees Anja's lifeless body. He falls to the ground next to her (body).
Production and release
Except for a small supporting role played by Tomek Piotrowski[ext], the film takes place only between Anja and Henry. The main setting of the film is an elaborately decorated factory floor: high rooms, dark, mysterious levels, a glittering water basin lined with man-sized steel sculptures. The film was shot mainly in an old factory building in Halle (Saale) and in Leipzig on 35 mm[wp], edited on the Avid and given a Dolby SR[wp] cinema mix. Annett Renneberg had her hair cut and blonded for the film.
It premiered in 2003 as part of the Panorama series at the 53rd Berlin International Film Festival. The title song was sung by Franziska Melzer.