I watched a film this morning called ‘3096 Tage.’ Directed by Sherry Hormann an American film director.
I laid in bed with a hot cup of tea,steaming like a steam train as it was so cold in my bedroom. Netflix recommended this film to me as I had previously watched a few things based on murders and kidnaps. Something that absolutely terrifies me to the core but I can’t help but watch them!
The acting at first by Trine Dyrholm, who plays the young girls mother, was very flat and forced. I immediately regretted turning the film on but I continued anyhow and I’m so thankful I did.
‘3096 Tage’ is a true story on the kidnap of Natasha Kampusch. A young Austrian girl who was snatched on the way to school on 2 March 1998, aged 10. The film started like any cliché. Mother and daughter have a row and daughter leaves the house crying only then to be kidnapped. Sad to say though it actually happened.
Thure Lindhard, the actor who plays the kidnapper is creepy, sick and your worse nightmare. A fantastic actor who I never once disbelieved. I believed every slap, punch and sly happiness throughout the whole film.
The young girl was forced to live in a tiny room that we later learn was built especially for her. As the years tick by he gives her things to keep her occupied. Books, a radio, games, pens and pencils and arts and crafts to make christmas decorations. She then has a bunkbed and a duvet…but no pillow. As the film carries on, the girl is allowed out with him, and allowed into the house, each time getting more and more. We see her cooking his meals and arranging how to decorate the bedroom upstairs that she later faces a horrible event in.
It is such a horrifying film and to think that this actually happened makes me feel sick to my stomach. The girl who plays older Natasha is so so skinny and really does envelope the character. She has her hair shaved off twice and her knees are so bandy and her shoulders so sharp its a surprise she can even stand up!
The film doesn’t hide anyway from anything and I later found out that the set is pretty much exactly like the real life pictures of the hell this girl lived in. The film allows you to relive it and when Natasha runs out of the front gate in her successful attempt to escape, you find yourself right there with her and rooting for her every step of the way.
Natasha was held captive for 8 years. She was treated like a princess on one day and then sent to her prison and beated and raped the next. Emotionally scarred and manipulated in every way possible.
I researched into the real Natasha after the film. I learnt that she went on to be the voice of zoo animals for PETA Austria, relating to their captivity to her own. She wrote a book on her journey called ‘3096 Tage’ and she also held a talk show.
Her kidnapper, Wolfgang Přiklopil, put himself under a train shortly after finding out she had fled and gone to the police. Coward. What I found really surprising is that after learning of his death, Natasha was apparently ‘sobbing uncontrollably.’ Some might say she has Stockholm Syndrome (feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor) but Natasha dismissed this theory. I can quite easily understand why she would have this syndrome and definitely do not think she is wrong for having those feelings of sadness. She was captured at age 10 and was with this man for 8 years. 8 years that she did a lot of her growing up, maturing and turning into a young woman. He manipulated her so well and used her that he ended up being all she had and all the comfort she had too whether it was in the wrong way or the right way.
Whatever way you look at it, the story and the horror is real and so so horrific. The film has taught me to be extra vigilant. To not leave home angry with anyone and to tell them I love them. You just don’t know what is going to happen when you leave the security of your own home. The film has also taught me that you really don’t know who is watching you. Who is watching your every move and how easy it can be to learn people’s routine if you really wanted to learn it.
‘3096 Tage’ is a great film even though it’s not for the light hearted or easily emotional. I shed tears, I gasped and I felt anxious and travelled the journey as the director wanted me too. It won’t be a story and a film I will forget in a long time and I do urge people to watch it if you have time and can stomach something like that.
It’s an eye opener.