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The Poet

The PoetA hit-man who kills an innocent young
  photographer who has witnessed an
  assassination finds himself inextricably
  drawn to the boy’s sister — a passion
  that could put both their lives in danger
  in The Poet
...”

RIDING ON THE CREST OF SUCCESS, promising young artistic photographer Rick Stern (the excellent Andrew Lee Potts: Primeval) has an appointment with Arts Magazine in Vienna. He inadvertently goes to the wrong office, where he is confronted by a professional hit-man carrying out an assassination.

The hit-man, Andrei Losin (empathetically portrayed by Dougray Scott: Mission Impossible II), kills him but is curious enough to look through the sketchbook Rick was taking to the magazine which he keeps, along with an open invitation to an exhibition of Rick's work.

Despite a strong police presence, led by the tough and determined Detective Inspector Max Vashon (a consistently good Jürgen Prochnow: Das Boot) whose job it was to keep the man safe, Andrei escapes from the building and disappears.

A cold blooded assassin, Andrei is a former soldier but he has a love of poetry and was once known as The Poet. He did not want to kill an innocent; but he feels an even deeper regret for killing a fellow artiste.

Andrei's target, Jorg Hoogezahl (Peter Moucka), had helped embezzle billions of dollars of African aid but he had information needed by the Police. Max Vashon heads the investigation to find the assassin and clashes with colleague Hartmann (Miguel Herz-Kestranek), who constantly belittles him.

In a bizarre need to understand the man he has killed, Andrei attends the photographer's exhibition and meets Rick's devastated sister, Paula Stern (sweetly played by Laura Elena Harring: Mulholland Drive), with whom he shares an instant irresistible attraction.

A grieving Paula tells Andrei how much Rick meant to her and what drove him — he had run away to Bosnia when he was 15 and it had had a profound effect on him. She also tells him that "a piece of his soul" has gone missing: the sketchbook. After their parents died, it was Paula who looked after Rick and they were extremely close. She seems to blame herself that she could not protect him.

Now obsessed with Paula, Andrei is getting careless. He tries to extricate himself from his deadly contractual obligations in order to go away with her, but his contact refuses to let him go and threatens him with the one thing he cannot face losing. Some unexpected work must be finished and he cannot leave until the contract is fulfilled. With deep misgivings, he carries out his orders. But will it be this final hit that will lose him everything? With Vashon close on his heels and now deeply in love with Paula, can there be a way out for Andrei?

This film explores the assassin's relationship with both his victim's artistic life and his victim's sister. Taking death as its theme, The Poet is a captivating film that will hook you right to the very end.

The Poet also features: Erika Marozsán as Eva Klinger; Mavie Hörbiger as Rita; Hary Prinz as Dieter Crossman; Rudolph Ruggiero as Lothar Spangler; and David de Keyser as Lomax.

Art Photographer is Werner Pawlok; Music is by Marcell Barsotti and Sofa Surfers; Director of Photography is Roger Bonnici; Story is by Leslie Ann Proctor; Screenplay is by Leslie Ann Proctor, Emil Meyer, Robert Hammond and Barbara Jago; Producers are Jonathan English, Evan Todd and Timothy Ney; Produced by Arno E Ortmair; and beautifully Directed by Paul Hills (Boston Kickout; Do Elephants Play).

A lyrical tragedy set in France, Austria and Germany, The Poet comes to DVD courtesy of Bluebell Films on 31 October 2011. Certificate: 15 | RRP: £14.99.

"The Poet is a captivating film that will hook you right to the very end"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar