“Statistically there is no such thing as momentum in a game of chance. Each act has no past. Nevertheless, one can speculate on the odds, in this case…”
As an engineer Walter Faber represents that kind of person that doesn’t want to have anything to do with fate. He is a calculating rationalist, only obedient to the sciences. Yet it will be revealed that his secluded life too is conducted by a goddess of fortune. At the last minute Faber catches his plane to Caracas, which however has to make a dangerous emergency landing in the desert. Meanwhile, he makes the acquaintance of Herbert Hencke, one of the passengers, the brother of his boyhood friend Joachim, who now lives in Guatemala. After a long odyssey to his friend’s plantation, Faber, who again and again obsessively tries to capture the reality with his hand-held camera, finds out that his friend has committed suicide.
“Over and over again slamming doors. Certain things simply don’t work any longer. Time has run out. The illusion of constancy is Faber’s error.” (Schlöndorff 2011, p. 409).
After this experience Faber turns his back on the American continent, continues his journey and has his next fateful encounter in Europe, which will completely change his life and his philosophy of life: in the glistening sun of Greece Faber suddenly emerges – one short word, which however means coincidence, the unplanned, incontrollable, which had been foreign to the engineer since the start of his journey – as a descendent of those tragic heroes who originated from the Greek mythology. A modern Oedipus, blinded by his own philosophy of life, in which higher powers have long ago cut huge notches. In the end the aging man sits, finally overtaken by his past, once again in the waiting hall of an airport, which has effectively become a symbol of his life.
“I sit in the departure hall. I do not want to be there, or anywhere.”