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Geboren in Absurdistan (1999)

It all begins with a mistake, an error with serious consequences: in a hospital the new-born babies of an Austrian couple and a Turkish family of immigrant workers are mixed up and go home ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Stemberger ...
Marion Strohmayer
...
Stefan Strohmayer
...
Emine Dönmez
Ahmet Ugurlu ...
Emre Dönmez
...
LKW-Fahrer
Karoline Zeisler ...
Schwester Siglinde
Petra Marjam ...
Schwester Regina
Franz Friedrich ...
Ministerialrat Hoffmann
Edith Nordegg ...
Frau Hoffmann
Maximilian Pretterebner ...
Karli Strohmayer (Neugeboren)
Philipp Schwab ...
Karli Strohmayer (5 Monate)
Anna-Katharina Pretterebner ...
Hayri Dönmez (Neugeboren)
Sebastian Schubert ...
Hayri Dönmez (5 Monate)
Metin Çeliker ...
Mustafa
...
Emre's Mutter
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Storyline

It all begins with a mistake, an error with serious consequences: in a hospital the new-born babies of an Austrian couple and a Turkish family of immigrant workers are mixed up and go home with the wrong parents. By the time the mistake comes to light, it emerges that the Turkish family, including the baby, has been deported. The despairing Austrian couple begins a confusing odyssey through Turkey in order to track down the unsuspecting family to their native village. But they are not at all convinced that the babies have been mixed up. It is decided that the only way to know for sure is to have a blood test done. It is decided that the blood work is done in Vienna due to the better medical resources, but that will be far from simple. It will involve an illegal smuggling of the Turks across the Austrian border. Written by RP

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

November 1999 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Born in Absurdistan  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A light-hearted look at European bureaucracy
12 August 2008 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

A previous poster, Mr 'Foreign Journalist' slated this film for essentially being anti-Turkish. On the contrary, the film portrays the bureaucratic nightmare facing a Turkish couple when their child is born in Austria - the Austrians are portrayed extremely critically, the Turks much less so. In many ways a simple family drama, 'Born in Absurdistan' highlights the different experiences of a middle-class Austrian couple and a working-class Turkish couple when their respective children are born - and how laws and bureaucracy can lead to inhuman situations. The Austrian couple (the husband, incidentally, works in the immigration department) has a private room at hospital and an influential father who helps them get past the miles of red tape. In contrast, the Turkish couple face a frustrating trek from one local government office to another and are eventually denied residence and face deportation. Then the Austrian couple discover that the babies have been switched in the hospital and 'their' child has already returned to Turkey as a result of its parents deportation. Suddenly, the shoe is on the other foot. Thus begins an odyssey across Europe to try to undo the 'mistake' that was made in the hospital. Both fathers are forced to learn tolerance and, in the case of the Austrian, to overcome racial prejudice. The main Turkish characters are extremely likable in this film, the Austrians typically conservative, intolerant and generally suspicious of immigrants. Using rather crude methods, the director nonetheless manages to bring humanity, humour and sensitivity to the issue of cross-cultural relations by building a story around the thing that unifies all parents: the love of one's child. The film tackles the bigotry and racism endemic in Europe, while avoiding the problems in immigrant communities - in this sense it is a somewhat rose-tinted view on racial relations, but an enjoyable film nonetheless.


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