Züli Aladag's critically acclaimed, but controversial movie deals with the conflict of Can, son of Turkish immigrants, and the Laubs, a supposedly liberal middle class family. Simon Laub, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oktay Özdemir ...
Can
August Zirner ...
Simon Laub
...
Christa Laub
Robert Höller ...
Felix Laub
...
Michael
Yunus Emre Budak ...
Hakan (Gang Can)
Stanislav van Hoffs ...
Aydin (Gang Can)
Güvent Ibraim Oglu ...
Mehmet - Gang Can (as Güvent Ibrahim-Oglu)
Feryat Toprakli ...
Gangsta (Gang Can)
Demir Gökgöl ...
Vater Can (as Demir Gögköl)
Melika Foroutan ...
Dominique
Engin Özdemir ...
Arif
Jenny Dilg ...
Janine
Hendrik Arnst ...
Polizist 1
Tom Jahn ...
Polizist 2
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Storyline

Züli Aladag's critically acclaimed, but controversial movie deals with the conflict of Can, son of Turkish immigrants, and the Laubs, a supposedly liberal middle class family. Simon Laub, professor of literature, and his wife Christa, real estate agent, live with their son Felix in a safe and quiet Berlin district. However, Felix gets in trouble with Can, son of a Turkish greengrocer, who starts to tyrannize the family. As he is annoyed by the boy's attacks, Simon -despite his political correct attitude- humiliates Can, which starts a vicious circle of anger and violence... Written by fippi2000

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Release Date:

29 September 2006 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Rage  »

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€1,300,000 (estimated)
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(Western Electric Recording)

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Trivia

The broadcasting network ARD originally planned to show the movie in its prime time slot, but postponed it due to the explosive plot. As the decision was considered cowardly in the public, it caused a heavy controversy (September 2006). See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film more provocative than convincing, about important issues
2 May 2007 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

'Rage' ('Wut') is a film made for German TV about Turks in Germany. It was written and directed by a man born in Turkey who has lived in Germany most of his life and studied film-making there, just as the younger winner of the top prize in Berlin in 2004, Faith Akin of 'Head-On' ('Gegen die Wind'), was trained in the arts in Germany but identifies with the Turkish minority. While Akin's approach is complex and ironic, Aladag treats the German-Turkish conflicts schematically and simplistically.

Can (Oktay Özdemir) (pronounced like "John") is a cocky young Turk with bad teeth and a ponytail who is beating up and extorting money from Felix Laub (Robert Höler), a "nice" German boy on a daily basis. When Can Steals Felix's expensive sneakers his father Simon (August Zirner) finds out what has been going on and gets very angry.

The practical question is: what do you do in such a situation, since any action against Can and his gang might lead to reprisals? Felix may be wise to take the beatings and give the money, but he's in a dangerous situation. And Can, of course, is full of rage, and that's why tormenting Felix provides him with so much pleasure. Needless to say, there are other ways of expressing rage, like growing up and trying to campaign for one's rights. But 'Rage' simply exists within a context of the failure of Germany's "guest worker" program and the roiling discontent of the large Turkish minority of which both Can and Felix are victims.

'Rage' skewers middle class liberal German families that try to be "nice," aren't overtly racist toward the large Turkish population, and turn the other cheek when they are attacked, due in part in Simon's case, to what his son calls his "Hitler complex." Felix's father Simon (August Zirner) is a university philosophy teacher (soon to be promoted to full professor) who dates his young girl students, and his mother Christa (Corinna Harfouch) sells real estate and is having an affair with one of Simon's best friends. The film suggests middle class German liberals are spineless and morally weak; and in a sense questions Simon's masculinity, or at least his physical courage (though not Felix's). (Simon fails again and again to control Can and late in the picture is barely saved from committing an act of terrible cowardice, but still ends by exacting revenge.) Presumably there are more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of in Simon's philosophy, and these include knowing how to give someone "a good hiding," as the subtitles somewhat primly put it. He eventually gets Michael (Ralph Herforth) -- who he is soon to discover is his wife's current lover -- to deliver the "hiding" to Can for him. Can's behavior is so provocative -- the film itself is nothing if not provocative, at the cost of subtlety and even believability -- that one wonders if they have court orders in Germany. The Turkish guy not only is a danger to Felix, but enters his parents' house repeatedly and menaces and abuses them and breaks things.

But before things get that far, Simon goes to Can's apartment and asks his father, an older man, to make Can return the sneakers. Can brings them right away, in a bag, but this is when he first enters the Laubs' house and prances around abusing and mocking them. One wonders if Aladag hasn't spent some time studying the films of Michael Haneke. The climactic sequence in which Can gets really nasty seems as if it may owe a good deal to Haneke's 1997 'Funny Games.' In that, a pair of punks torment a family and make them play sadistic games with each other. Can is accused of only being brave when with his fellow punks, but in fact he does very well on his own. The young actor, Oktay Özdemir, deserves credit for playing with great boldness and conviction. On the other hand the German principals are cardboard figures. Christa is a stiff, bitchy wife, full of innuendos about her husband's spinelessness; Simon indeed seems incredibly wishy-washy, and poor Felix is a ridiculous good boy, polite to his parents, but equally eager to be Can's "friend" and convinced when Can with obvious mockery says they are "brothers." When Simon has reached his limit with Can, he manages to get him arrested for drug dealing, even though Felix was one of the customers he spied and in the police station Felix refuses to bear any witness to Can's criminal activity. Generations are in conflict, even though Felix and Simon don't fight. Can's father disowns him and Can weeps when he realizes this -- his sole moment of weakness.

'Rage' makes its points economically. The screenplay is swift-moving and pointed. The film tends to seem crude and exaggerated; there is no nuance in it. Conversely it is enormously effective in its clear aim of making viewers uncomfortable and illustrating the titular rage of young Turks.

Though there's no indication that Can's dignified, older father (Demir Gökgöl) is really poor, it's also clear that he's less well off than the Laubs. (Apparently the reason an associate professor has such an impressive spread is parental money.) Aladag has stated that for him Can is a hero, but this is a sad thing to know. Can is a prancing bully. Akin's anti-hero in 'Head-On,' Cahit, also wants to destroy himself as Can does, but the reasons are more complex, and in the hands of the immensely charismatic Birol Ünel, Cahit is funny and appealing. Two different approaches, both perhaps with their validity. If Aladag's 'Rage' arouses worthwhile debate of issues Germans have been unwilling to speak of, it will have had a positive value. But it feels like a film that would mostly just polarize or repel people.

Shown as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival 2007.


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