6.6/10
331
3 user 11 critic

The Giraffe (1998)

Meschugge (original title)
Unrated | | Thriller | 11 March 1999 (Germany)
Lena Katz, who is German, and David Fish, who is American, are Jews who live in New York. When Lena's mother, who arrives from Germany, meets her at a hotel, she finds an almost-dead woman ... See full summary »

Writers:

, (script consultant) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Love Life (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A married young academic falls under the sexual thrall of a much older man whose air of jaded ennui conceals a secret desire for vengeance...

Director: Maria Schrader
Stars: Neta Garty, Rade Serbedzija, Tovah Feldshuh
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Berlin 1943/44 ("The Battle of Berlin"). Felice, an intelligent and courageous Jewish woman who lives under a false name, belongs to an underground organization. Lilly, a devoted mother of ... See full summary »

Director: Max Färberböck
Stars: Maria Schrader, Juliane Köhler, Johanna Wokalek
Partly Sunny (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tim and his friend Can go to bars and lie to girls about one of them being terminally ill so they can gain sympathy and be guaranteed a "hook up" for the night. Tim meets Marie hooks up ... See full summary »

Director: Marco Petry
Stars: Max Riemelt, Anna Fischer, Jessica Schwarz
Silent Night (1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Sensing their relationship is crumbling, Christian avoids celebrating Christmas with his girlfriend Julia and heads for Paris. She, alone in their Berlin flat, decides this is the time to ... See full summary »

Director: Dani Levy
Stars: Maria Schrader, Mark Schlichter, Jürgen Vogel
Boycott (TV Movie 2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Black Americans boycott the public buses during the 1950s civil rights movement.

Director: Clark Johnson
Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Terrence Howard, CCH Pounder
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Keith is a Japanese twenty-something who is followed by Death in various disguises. When he finally faces her, Death tells him that he has only 12 hours to live and he needs to make the ... See full summary »

Director: Wonsuk Chin
Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Mira Sorvino, Jeffrey Wright
My Führer (2007)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The action comedy is set in 1944. Hitler appears in it as physically and mentally destroyed person who takes the advice of Goebbels in the actor-teacher of Jewish concentration camp for ... See full summary »

Director: Dani Levy
Stars: Helge Schneider, Ulrich Mühe, Sylvester Groth
Cement (2000)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

What's the bond between partners, between brothers, and between spouses? In L.A., Bill Holt handcuffs Sean Rickhart inside a rebar frame for a freeway pillar at a construction site; Bill's ... See full summary »

Director: Adrian Pasdar
Stars: Chris Penn, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony DeSando
I Was on Mars (1991)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Silva fulfills herself a dream: from Poland she flies to USA. With only a few hundred dollars she arrives in New York, incapable of the language. Not long until the charming swindler Avi ... See full summary »

Director: Dani Levy
Stars: Maria Schrader, Dani Levy, Mario Giacalone
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Manny tries to get his crack addict brother, Danny, to clean up.

Director: Jeff Stanzler
Stars: Tim Roth, Alexis Arquette, Danitra Vance
L.627 (1992)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This gritty police drama shows us the underbelly of the Parisian drug trade. Lulu is a tough streetwise narcotics cop who, like a Frank Serpico or a Dirty Harry Callahan, doesn't play by ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Didier Bezace, Jean-Paul Comart, Charlotte Kady
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Before Dawn charts the years of exile in the life of famous Jewish Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, his inner struggle for the "right attitude" towards the events in war torn Europe and his search for a new home.

Director: Maria Schrader
Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Tómas Lemarquis, Lenn Kudrjawizki
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lena Katz
Dani Levy ...
David Fish
...
Charles Kaminski
Nicole Heesters ...
Lena's Mother
...
Win
...
David's Mother
Lukas Ammann ...
Max Weiss
...
Rahel Fish (as Stephanie Roth)
...
Rahel's Husband
Erin Rakow ...
Slavie Fish
Daniel Mastroianni ...
Menachem Fish
Paul Butler ...
Lt. Lynch
Mario Giacalone ...
Det. Pucci
Mark Zimmerman ...
Bregman
...
Rita Teichmann
Edit

Storyline

Lena Katz, who is German, and David Fish, who is American, are Jews who live in New York. When Lena's mother, who arrives from Germany, meets her at a hotel, she finds an almost-dead woman lying on the hotel floor. She accompanies the injured woman to the hospital and meets David, who is the woman's son. After David's mother dies from the injuries, a question remains: was she murdered? The trail leads to Germany. Apparently, Lena's mother has some kind of relationship with David's mother that reaches back into the dark German history of the 1940s. Written by Marco Radke <meteomara@gmx.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Du suchst die Liebe und findest ein Geheimnis See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 March 1999 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Don't  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References K (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Twisty Tale of Deceit and the Holocaust
26 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw a Taiwanese DVD import of "Meschugge" (which is Yiddish for crazy) under the alternate title "The Giraffe" (a title which makes no sense at all). The only potential handicap to it was the German-language sections had only Taiwanese subtitles, but I think I got the gist of those scenes, which are few.

This thriller is a tale of deception involving David Fish (played by writer/director Dani Levy), a busy young Jewish man whose mother escaped Germany but who always thought the rest of her family didn't survive the Holocaust. When she goes to meet someone from Germany who may know about her father, she winds up dead in a hospital having been found unconscious with a head wound in a hotel hallway by Lena Katz (played by co-writer Maria Schrader), a young German woman visiting New York to cover a fashion shoot.

David and Lena start getting involved and David soon learns that Lena's family and his have secret connections neither knew about before. Also pushing things forward are the investigative efforts of the activist lawyer Charles Kaminski (played by David Strathairn, who is the best thing in the movie), who knows more than he lets on and pushes David to find out the true identity of Lena's grandfather and mother.

The plot is very complex, but not difficult to follow. What makes this film merely competent as a whole are much hackneyed dialogue between David and Lena, and below-par acting on the part of the two leads. Levy is particularly wooden and unsympathetic as David, failing to make us feel David's mixed emotions as he manipulates Lena to find out more about her family.

Fortunately, Strathairn is in the film enough to compensate, and his fiery, electric performance is refreshingly different from the more frequent low-key characters he tends to play on film.

The pacing in "Meschugge" is fast and the film is never dull, though there is the occasional cinematic cliche (the 360 degree whirling camera around a character trick should be permanently retired, IMO). The remaining cast is good, though the talented Jeffrey Wright (of "Angels in America") is wasted in an irrelevant role as a photographer/love interest of Lena's who is tossed away quickly. Based on this film, Levy has more talent as a director than as a writer or actor.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is the model in the photoshoot Natasha Henstridge? jvilanova
Discuss The Giraffe (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?