In director Elizabeth Scharang’s thriller, Jack becomes a model of criminal rehabilitation after serving a 15-year term — until a series of prostitutes are found dead, and he comes under police and tabloid scrutiny again. Can a person fundamentally change? Will society let him change?
Scharang had interviewed the real Jack Unterweger for radio when the writer committed suicide in 1994. The filmmaker then turned to fiction to tell her version of his story. “Each and every Austrian has an opinion on Jack Unterweger,” she said, “and as soon as I mention his name, the views spit forth like an eruption of lava.”
Screen International described the film as “an accomplished, quietly compelling portrait of a convicted killer and whether he can escape the long shadows of his past or the expectations of a society both fascinated and repelled by his actions.”
“Jack” will compete at this year’s Locarno film festival and screen at TIFF.