A young man makes a commitment to a pop singer on whom he has a crush - only to run headfirst into unforeseeable circumstances - in Swiss director Micha Lewinsky's gentle, offbeat seriocomedy Der Freund. For Emil Funk (Philippe Graber), Zurich-based musician Larissa Mahler (Emilie Weltie) is the essence of appeal and desirability; after watching her perform, he dreams of meeting her. The young man sees his wish come true in the form of a brief encounter with Larissa, but must contend with a bizarre request: she asks him to "pretend" to be her boyfriend. Emil obliges but grows understandably confused when Larissa disappears, then suddenly dies the next day. Recognizing the value of a commitment, he insists on standing by her family as an emotional anchor and guiding them through a period of intense sorrow - which draws him into a close and unexpected bond with Larissa's sister, Nora (Johanna Bantzer).
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