“THE YEAR I LOST MY MIND”— A Thriller from Tor Iben

“The Year I Lost My Mind” (“Jahr des Tigers”)

A Thriller from Tor Iben

Amos Lassen

I look forward to films by Tor Iben and think of him as a psychological director who dares to do where others do not. “The Passenger” (2012) and “Where Are You Going, Habibi?” (2015) show Iben to be a master of sexual tension and we certainly see here that trend again. This is a psycho thriller that both bewilders and arouses us.

Tom (Alexander Tsypilev) is a lonely young man. With his buddy Rachid (Patrick G. Boll), he breaks into the apartment of history professor Lars (Julient Likert) with whom he falls in love. Secretly Tom starts to observe and follow Lars without ever disclosing his existence or expressing his own feelings. At the same time, Tom develops an obsession with a biker whom he constantly runs into. More and more Tom becomes involved in a game of hide-and-see and, in a labyrinth of passions. But when Lars wises up to him, roles change and the stalker becomes the stalked, only for everything to change again in the next moment …

Looking at Tom psychologically we see that he is plenty creepy guy and preoccupied with breaking and entering into private property, and skulking around wooded gay cruising areas of Berlin. His own mother asks him why he feels that he has to has to scare everyone. Tom puts his energy on Lars, who teaches gay history. Soon Tom becomes a prisoner to his own dark obsessions. He tests how close can he can get to Lars without being caught and/or losing his mind. We see a lonely young man who becomes dangerously obsessed with a stranger that he encountered during a burglary, Tom begins stalking and antagonizing Lars. When Lars finds out about Tom’s intentions, he manages to turn the tables on him, leading to a shocking confrontation.

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