The trailer for Austrian writer-director Jessica Hausner’s “Amour Fou'” begins with a conversation between a younger woman and an older man about what can and cannot be chosen in life, with the former concluding that love “can’t be chosen.” While this may sound like a familiar topic in movies — the idea that destiny leads us to love — “Amour Fou” takes this premise in an entirely unexpected direction.
Based on a true story, the film, which premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, follows a young woman, Henrietta (Birte Schnoeink), and her unconventional relationship with Romantic poet Henrich Von Kleist. “It may seem odd, but I am not looking for a partner in life, but rather in death,” explains Von Kleist. “Amour Fou,” Hausner’s fourth feature, portrays the final weeks of Henrietta and Von Kleist’s lives in Berlin after entering a suicide pact. If the trailer is any indication, the film is darkly humorous and equally sad and strange.
“Amour Fou” opens March 18.