Life is all about choices. Some may seem more frivolous than others, but each and every decision has its consequences. The ramification of our choices is exquisitely explored in Christoph Kuschnig’s heart-wrenching film Hatch.

Taking place over the course of one wintry Vienna night, Hatch focuses on two couples who are linked by the tough decisions they have to make regarding the same baby. Milo (Vedran Kos) and Biljana (Tina Keserovik) are illegal immigrants struggling to get by. Milo has resorted to stealing just to provide for their newborn baby girl. Realizing that they can no longer go on living the way they are, Milo and Biljana make the frantic decision to give up their baby. Though Biljana is not completely sold on the idea, they decide to leave their child at the local baby hatch, a place where newborns can be dropped off anonymously in hopes of finding more suitable individuals to care for them.

It just so happens that at the time Milo and Biljana are making their decision, Thomas (Max Mayer) is watching the events unfold from his car. Horrified by the notion that someone would give up on a child like that, Thomas makes the rash decision to snatch the child from the hatch before the nurses can officially register her. Though Thomas and his partner Andreas (Andreas Patton) long to have a child of their own, Andreas cannot believe the depths his lover is willing to go to make their dreams a reality.

There is a desperation that permeates through every pore of Kuschnig’s film. Both couples are eager to fulfill their dreams of a better life, but fail to fully see the scope of their pending actions. They claim that the decisions they make are in the child’s best interest, but it is clear that this is not the case. They are clouded by the dense fog that their selfishness breeds.

Hatch is a compelling short film because there are no clear villains in all of this, just individuals who are misguided. Milo, Biljana, and Thomas only realize the extent of their actions long after the deed it done. Kuschnig does a remarkable job of showing the full complexities of his characters in a rather brief time. He displays a confidence that radiates through the sadness and angst of his tale. Filled with solid performances and assured direction, Hatch successfully delves into the human psyche in a way that is both original and gripping.


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