From Germany, writer-director Visar Morina’s Exile is a quietly nightmarish character study about the daily paranoia of being intentionally left out – something that everyone experiences, but very few people dare make movies about. With an extremely tempered performance from Mišel Matičević the film puts those feelings under a microscope, and turns all of those moments of sitting with your thoughts and uncertainty about what’s really going on into austere unease.
It’s the kind of thriller that Michael Haneke would make after learning he didn’t get invited to a friend’s party, and Morina’s film builds from that influence with his own audacious visual storytelling.
Nick Allen, Roger Ebert
Visar Morina generates a similar atmosphere to that of the films of Ruben Östlund, prying at the cracks in the male psyche. The broody tension – masterfully played by Mišel Maticevic, whose every move speaks to the internal conflict of a man who believes men are not supposed feel these sorts of emotions – is stoked by the tappings and sudden more strident moments of Benedikt Schiefer’s score. There’s also a sense of Xhafer not being so dissimilar from those lab rats he loathes, whether its when he is scurrying along the corridors of his office or trapped in the airless gloom of his family home. It seems we, like him, are part of the experiment, as Morina asks us to judge where our sympathies lie and what, in turn, that might reveal about us.
Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film