"Heaven" (2002)

Director: Tom Tykwer. Writing credits: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz. Producers: Anthony Minghella, Maria Köpf, Stefan Arndt, Sydney Pollack, Harvey Weinstein, et al. Cinematography: Frank Griebe. Film editing: Mathilde Bonnefoy. Casting: Shaila Rubin. Production design: Uli Hanisch. Original music: Tom Tykwer; music: Arvo Pärt. Cast: Cate Blanchett (Philippa), Giovanni Ribisi(Filippo), Stefano Santospago (Marco Vendice), Mattia Sbragia (major VittorioPini), Remo Girone (Filippo’s father), Stefania Rocca (Regina), et al.  35 mm, aspectratio: 1:1,85, 96 min, color. Company: Mirage Enterprises / Miramax Films / Noé Productions / Star Edizioni Cinematografiche / X-Filme Creative Pool, Germany– Italy– USA–France–United Kingdom, 2002. Première: 6 Feb 2002, Berlin International Film Festival.

Heaven tells a story of Philippa Paccard (Cate Blanchett), a teacher of English in Torino (Turin), Italy. She has seen drugs kill her husband and some of her students. Her appeals to the police have been ignored. She knows that a high-ranking businessman, Marco Vendice (Stefano Santospago), is behind the Torino drug trafficking, and one day she plants a time bomb into the trash can in his office. To avoid harming people who have no bearing on this matter she arranges Vendice’s secretary to leave the office, and then phones to the police to give herself up. Yet chance and coincidence interfere when a cleaning lady removes the bomb with the trash and it explodes in an elevator, killing her plus a man and his two children. Four innocent people are dead as a result.

Philippa is arrested; she does not resist nor deny her guilt. Yet she finds out what had really happened only at the interrogation where she is falsely accused of organising a terrorist act. The truth devastates her. Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi), a young carabineer (son of a former police chief) serving as a stenographer and English translator at the interrogation process, comes to her aid. His initial sympathy quickly develops into a deep sincere feeling. During the interrogations it becomes apparent that the police forces are corrupt and in league with the drug-dealer. Filippo comes up with an escape plot. Before escaping, Philippa is determined to finish her mission. Filippo provides her with a gun to kill the drug baron. The fugitives go on the run through the Tuscan landscape although they are prepared for the inevitable. Eventually they find refuge with one of Philippa’s friends. When the authorities raid the house where they are hiding, they steal the police helicopter landed on the front lawn and escape. On the ground, the officers fire repeatedly at them, but to no avail, as the craft climbs higher and higher and finally disappears.