Roman Kugler (Schubert) is a 19-year old orphan locked up in a juvenile detention facility. As part of the requirements for his parole he is offered a job at the municipal morgue in Vienna, joining a team of grey uniformed men as they move corpses from the place of death to morgue, and from morgue to graveyard. "The right corpse in the right case at the right time and the right place" as his boss puts it. At the same time the taciturn, withdrawn Roman begins to search for the mother who abandoned him.
In his directorial debut the veteran Austrian actor Karl Markovics tells this potentially melodramatic story with great restraint. He elicits an impressively understated performance from his lead, while his camera precisely frames the anonymous, insitutional spaces of incarceration and death. But the emotional distance maintained by the film only serves to make its hopeful and ultimately redemptive message all the more satisfying.