Quite literally, a whistle blower triggers the release of suppressed memories in THE SECRETS WE KEEP.
Fifteen years after the end of World War II, Romanian refugee, Maja, has rebuilt her life in the United States of Suburbia with her American medico husband, and their young son.
Affluent and prosperous, the very model of middle class cosiness, a simple whistle sets off alarm in Maja, spiraling her back to a night she has tried to forget.
The whistler, she fears, is the German soldier named Karl who brutalised her and murdered her younger sister. But after 15 years, can she be sure?
Deciding that it’s him, and desperate for information redacted from her memory due to the trauma, she kidnaps him, knocking him unconscious and locking him in the trunk of her car. After driving him to her home, she insists that her husband help her interrogate the man.
This forced collusion brings great confusion to her husband, Lewis, who fears she is suffering delusion. The prisoner swears she has the wrong man, claiming his name is Thomas and he spent the entire war in Switzerland.
Over the next several days, Lewis watches in horror as Maja torments her captive, only offering to release him if he confesses. Meanwhile, the man’s wife presses the police to launch a manhunt for her missing husband, escalating the pressure on Maja and Lewis to bring the situation to a conclusion.
Noomi Rapace is excellent as Maja, the tormented become the tormentor, the tortured become the torturer, the better angel of her nature brought into conflict with the uncovered demons of her past.
Directed by Yuval Adler from a script by Ryan Covington and Yuval Adler, THE SECRETS WE KEEP plays out like a three handed Death of the Maiden, with not so much as Stockholm Syndrome as Bucharest Disorder, a study in survivor guilt, how secrets beget secrets and the notion of forgiving the past to forge the future.
Two characters, both alike in dignity, through brutal war entwined in enmity, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean, bringing forth a third, whose soiled toil ensures further secrets to keep.