The Culpable

The life and faith of a Catholic prison minister is shaken when his friend and colleague is taken into custody on suspicion of sexual abuse. What follows is a drive to discover the truth.


The life and faith of catholic prison minister Jakob Voelz is fundamentally troubled when his best friend and hieratical colleague Dominik Bertram is taken in custody under suspicion of sexual abuse. Jakob would be more than happy to believe Dominik is innocent. Yet, what Jakob is beginning to suspect becomes a crucial test for his faith and his self-conception as a priest: There is a truth we welcome and there is a truth we fear, about which we tend to fall silent. Jakob begins to turn against that silence within the church, in order to discover the truth.

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Director: Gerd Schneider
Genre: Drama
Original title: Verfehlung
English title: The Culpable
Country of production: Germany
Year of production: 2015
Length: 95 min
Color: Colour
Original language: German
Subtitles: English

Cast: Sebastian Blomberg, Kai Schumann, Jan Messutat, Sandra Borgmann Valerie Koch, Rade Radovic
Scriptwriter: Gerd Schneider
Director of photography: Pascal Schmit
Editor: Uta Schmidt
Sound design: Steffen Graubaum
Music: John Gürtler & Jan Miserre
Producers: Felix Eisele, Julia Kleinhenz, Katja Siegel, Bernhard Stegmann
Production company: av medien penrose, Penrose Film
Co-production company: SWR, BR and ARTE
Supported by: MFG Filmförderung, BKM and General Federal Film Fund (DFFF)

Film poster

Festivals / Awards

Filmfestival Max-Ophüls-Preis 2015 - German Premiere
Festival of German Films Ludwigshafen 2015, Germany
Arras International Film Festival, France - Prix Regards jeunes Région Nord-Pas de Calais
Santa Barbara IFF, USA - Public Choice Award
Preis der deutschen Filmkritik im Rahmen der Berlinale - Bestes Spielfilmdebüt
Festival International du Film d´Aubagne, France
Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Italy
Shanghai IFF, China
Portland German Film Festival, USA



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