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Synopsis

An eye for an eye. Or -how love can turn into violence

Dominik Liebmann is a man
who has lost everything.

His wife, his son, his job, his house and even his pride. Financially and emotionally bankrupt he enters Berlins first and only "Männerhaus": a shelter for battered men. He meets Holger the director of the house and its members.

After a psychiatric examination by the youth welfare office he has to participate in the Group Therapy Session of the "Männerhaus" in order to get custody for his son Dylan.

After an initial resistance Dominik decides to participate and so the other members of the "Männerhaus" learn about Dominiks past: While vacationing in Northern-Hessia Dominik meets the 18-year old Angela, with her gold-blonde hair, her pretty angelic face and her direct and perky manner.

The sympathy grows into desire, then into passion. For love their time is too short and Dominik and Angela become a couple. After visiting Berlin a couple of months later Angela finds herself pregnant and Dominik proposes. But the marital bliss soon turns to marital hell. Angela, unsatisfied with her role as a young mother, unschooled and without a job, she becomes growingly impatient with Dominik. She becomes addicted to alcohol and squanders Dominks family assets. Dominik tries to provide for his little family.

All his attempts to talk to Angela about her problems are of no avail. More and more he just tries to avoid her increasingly aggressive moods. Angelas tendency towards violent behavior increases. Alarmed neighbors call the police. But in the presence of the policemen Dominik does not dare to press charges against his own wife. When being fired from his job due his marital troubles Dominik approaches the edge of desperation. Finally Angela leaves Dominik and takes their son Dylan with him.

In these Therapy sessions Dominik describes the abuse and the hitting, but he still justifies and defends Angela violent behavior. At Holgers urging Doninik decides to learn Karate. At the karateschool he meets the 33-year old lawyer Belinda. Dominik and Belinda start to date, but Domink has difficulties to open himself. He avoids the uncomfortable truths of the past and still defends Angela and her behavior.

After more therapy sessions and conflicts with Belinda Dominik manages to break out of his own vicious circle. In the group session he realizes that Angela behavior was wrong and that he allowed himself to be victimized. In an argument with Belinda he understands that he contributed to the violent dynamics with his passivity and his failure to accept responsibility.

Belinda helps Domink to get the custody for Dylan. After Dominik meets his old boss and tells him of his difficult past, he manages to get his old job back.

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