What we do, we do out of love. Even the bad things. Even manipulating your wife’s health. Or making your husband lose his sanity. No bad faith involved, is it?
Dr. Benedikt Greif did not start off wanting to manipulate Anna. He did not want to make her believe that she had no chance for a decent life. That she was dependent on him. But one little lie led to another, and now he is about to feel the retribution. If not by her, then by his own conscience: His world is falling apart. A world consisting of manipulation, doubt an insecurity. A world now threatened by a young man – Benedikt’s own imagination. Or his wife’s plot for revenge, Benedikt cannot be sure.
“mala fide” is a psychological thriller of manipulation, a battle of the minds. But at its core, the film portrays a love gone wrong. Benedikt admires Anna – a little too much maybe. He feels he is no match for her.
So Benedikt became her caring husband and her doctor. he made her believe she was dependent on him, that she was sick and he was the only one who would be there for her. Now that lie has grown and not only is their relationship based on it, Benedikt’s mind is occupied with its ramification. His bad conscience has manifested itself – or so he believes.
A young man is demanding of Benedikt to tell the truth. So far, Benedikt believed the young man to be a creation of his own mind – a manifestation of his own bad conscience. But now, Benedikt is starting to wonder: Might the young man be real? Why else would he hear him talk to Anna, why else would he demand him to tell her the truth, to destroy everything Benedikt has created? It is within the setting of a quiet evening for two that the situation escalates – everyone in the room having their own agenda, manipulating the others to do as they want.
(lat. “in bad faith”) – Intentional dishonest act by not fulfilling legal or contractual obligations, misleading another, entering into an agreement without the intention or means to fulfill it, or violating basic standards of honesty in dealing with others.
Title: „mala fide“
Production: Iris Wegscheider & Jacob Groll
Running Time: 14’45”
Aspect Ratio: 1.85
Language: German with English subtitles
Year of Production: 2011/2012/2013
Financing: Stadt Wien, Land Oberösterreich, Kärnten Kultur, private Sponsoring