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Return to Go! (2000)

Zurück auf Los! (original title)
After Sam, a penniless Afro-German singer, discovers he's HIV positive, he gets utterly drunk, spends a few miserable days, but promptly falls (back) in love. Amidst a crumbling former East... See full summary »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Thilo Ackermann ...
Michael Ande ...
Dieter Bach ...
Markus Böttcher ...
Verkäufer (Supermarkt)
Susanne Böwe ...
Stephan Dierichs ...
Fahrer (Leichenwagen)
Matthias Freihof ...
Paul Gilling ...
Annette Gleichmann ...
Nikolaus Gröbe ...
Mike Hinkel ...
Young Neighbour
Ared Hubert ...
Bart Klein ...
Anja Kling ...


After Sam, a penniless Afro-German singer, discovers he's HIV positive, he gets utterly drunk, spends a few miserable days, but promptly falls (back) in love. Amidst a crumbling former East Berlin (its bulidings, cars, people & culture), Sam develops a "family" for the new millenium, for the new generation of post-drug cocktail AIDS victims. The fragile "family" he forms includes his on-again-off-again boyfriend Rainer, and his best friend Bastl with his latest fling, Mike. Like the old, schmaltzy East German songs which Sam is recording, the sweet innocence of the characters struggle to prevail, the misfortunes of the characters nothwithstanding. Written by GMeleJr

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Release Date:

22 March 2001 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Return to Go!  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Outstanding, though heavy drama; appealing to a special audience
1 May 2001 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Americans have said at gay film festivals that this is the first AIDS musical since "Zero Patience." Such comments illustrate the challenge of understanding this complex drama poses to most audiences outside Europe. Away from the continent, few people probably know or care whether Berlin has been the capital of a united Germany for over a decade, or whether there was ever a wall, and so on. It's useless to expect these audiences to understand the issues and nuances in this film, even the upscale, well-educated (by American standards) film festival crowd I saw the film with.

It's great that national cinemas are making films as specific to their cultures as Americans do. Even if this means limiting the box office. US films assume audiences worldwide know American culture (generally true), while US audiences know very little (if anything at all) about other cultures. So, though the opportunity to see a film like ZURUCK... is rare here, it is a banquet for us who are able to understand and savor it.

This drama is best understood by the European & German gay or alternative lifestyle communities, also by intellectual "Ossies," and ideally by former East Berlin gay and HIV/AIDS activists.

Having said that, if you fit the description above; or like two of the film's main character, you are a foreigner immersed in Berlin's recent and present position as Europe's edgiest capital city, this drama is a feast.

The plot crams in many aspects of contemporary unorthodox Eastern Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg) life: East German nostalgia (its 70s & 80s music, attitude, architecture), the local gay/alternative scene, and Berlin's cabaret tradition.

But the film focuses on the deeper issues of living with HIV/AIDS in the present post-antiviral cocktail era, rampant alcoholism among twenty and thirty something young adults, not to mention the fragile and transitory nature of friendships and relationships these days. The latter two are the themes I believe most audiences will identify with.

The ensemble cast is outstanding, and the film has an unusual gritty realism. Unusual but important problems we are living with are addressed and well explored. This is a feature movie you are likely to see only at a gay film festival if you're outside Germany. But if the issues interest you, this film is not a bad way to spend 100 minutes.

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