Shortly after finishing her masters thesis, child psychologist Eliane Hess is summoned to the hospital to help provide care for a young boy named Yves who is the sole survivor of a horrendous car wreck that claimed the lives of the boy’s entire family. Yves is spared physically but carries deep psychological wounds. His remaining relatives – a feuding grandmother and aunt – arrive and fight for custody of Yves, and Eliane is asked to make a formal evaluation of the boy so that the court can determine where to place him. During this time, Yves is allowed to stay with Eliane for further observation and the two begin to develop a special bond. As Eliane digs further into the case, she discovers that Yves’ mental trauma reaches back to much earlier time than the car crash after the aunt discloses to Eliane the abuse the father had inflicted on the family – and shortly afterward, receives a devastating phone call; the court has awarded custody of the child to the aunt with whom Yves desperately does not want to live. The boy quickly becomes near suicidal and Eliane is once again summoned to the hospital where she is offered the opportunity to have custody of Yves. She accepts, and soon learns the source of the boy’s deep psychological trauma.
- "A classy and engrossing package overall, Dark Fortune reels viewers in with slow-burn suspense and psychological complexity. Haupt’s intense lead performance, a study in brittle professionalism masking deep trauma, stands out in a high-caliber cast."
- "Tobias Dengler’s cinematography creates a full emotional range via the visual language of the film."
- "While the performance from the entire cast is top level, the excellent writing and the direction by Stefan Haupt helps the viewer to put all the missing pieces together"
- "Dark Fortune portrays a tragedy that destroys one family only to save another."
- "Dark Fortune is truly dramatic, the storyline is wonderful written, and even better acted on screen."
Awards & Recognition
Ecumenical Jury Prize
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Locarno Film Festival
Shanghai Int'l Film Festival