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Thierry van Werveke,
Oscar Ortega Sánchez
Hamburg, Germany. The small crime scene. Three friends: Gabriel from Turkey and just out of prison, Costa from Greece and together with Gabriel's sister, Bobby from Serbia and together with her best friend. Bobby wants to get more into organized crime and decides to apply for a membership in an Albanian gang. As a test, he has to beat up someone who owes his future boss. He can join. Later, when Bobby has to do a weapon's deal on his own, he tries to get his friends in, too. But Gabriel does not want to go back into crime, he is dreaming of a life at the southern Turkish coast, owning a boat rental shop. Costa, always out of money, joins Bobby for one last time before getting good. But before the deal is on, both women start leaving their men for others. And when the deal is on, it goes terribly wrong. Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Kurz und schmerzlos" means as much as "quickly and smoothly" and is a German underground drama by young Turkish film maker Fatih Akin. Shot in the suburbs and industrial area of Hamburg, Akin's home town, it was a big hit in German repertory cinemas in 1999.
The film shows the life and fate of three young foreigners - Turk Gabriel, Greek Costa and Serb Bobby, all of them dreaming of love and money in the bleak surroundings of social welfare, crimes, industry, unemployment and cultural minorities. Of course it won't take long until the friendship of the three outsiders is about to break apart when Gabriel becomes a henchman for a local gangster boss, and a journey through violence and despair begins for all three of them...
There are no special effects, no visual games, there is just pure "adrenaline acting" - except for Ralf Herforth ("Knocking on Heaven's Door") as gangster boss Muhamer, all actors are unknown newcomers, but with a great impact and brilliant performances. There is much realistic violence in it than can be felt in every second, and you really need to watch out for some contemporary American or Japanese underground stuff to find something similar. And the sound track is very good, too.
But the movie shows also the social milieu and the problems of national minorities in a Western country like in the works of British film maker Hanif Kureishi ("My Beautiful Laundrette"). Watch out for this example for great contemporary German cinema, and although "Kurz und schmerzlos" avoids all the visual styling of "Lola rennt", it has the same impact and power like that international box office hit!
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