n°130/ Evil Faces

July 2014


by Nadia Sheng


Mathieu Carrière as the title character in "Young Törless" (1966) seems so inhuman yet relatable. He merely watches while Basini is tortured, not because Törless is afraid to help but because he wants to understand how and why perfectly normal people are capable of doing horrible things. The World Cup footballers and their relationships on the field echo those of an all boys military academy (where the film is set), where the use of certain tactics raise questions of morality (e.g. Suarez's biting incident). Even though we want their human side to triumph- the German team was often compared to machines throughout the World Cup-  as a result of their inner struggle, we need the "good and evil" dichotomy to enjoy the performances and to allow us to reflect on the human condition as it applies to us. We can't take our eyes off Thomas Müller's malevolent grin or Törless' s stoical expression as they complement their roles so well, and we wouldn't have it any other way as so much is left to the imagination- how much do we really know about military academies and professional football teams?- for which we need strong characters to seek answers from. Did I mention Müller and Törless sort of look alike?


 Mathieu Carrière


 Young Törless