On 27th December 1973, a nightmare began for an entire family. On that night, a German businessman named Thomas Niedermayer was kidnapped from his home in Belfast. He was never seen alive again by his friends or family. He became one of the ‘disappeared’, and it seemed that no-one knew what had happened to him.
His wife, Ingeborg, and his daughters, Renate and Gabriele, spend the next seven years not knowing if Thomas was alive or dead. Then, in 1980, an IRA informant led police to recover his body. But the trauma for the Niedermayers did not end then: there were further devastating consequences for all of them.
Thomas and Ingeborg’s only granddaughters, Tanya and Rachel, were told nothing of this history when they were growing up. Now, 50 years after their grandfather was kidnapped, they have embarked on a painful journey of discovery – to find out the shocking truth of what really happened half-a-century ago.
Face Down is in select cinemas from Friday August 11th.
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Catherine O' Flaherty
August 11 2023