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Wer früher stirbt, ist länger tot
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Reviews & Ratings for
Grave Decisions More at IMDbPro »Wer früher stirbt, ist länger tot (original title)

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51 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Bavaria beyond Beer, Lederhosn and Dirndl

Author: vetmad from Munich, Germany
21 August 2006

I'd never have thought that a German, well it's actually more a Bavarian movie, could be this exceptional anymore. But it continues the line of rare Bavarian films that capture life in all its facets, in the great tradition of Franz Xaver Bogner's "Irgendwie & Sowieso" from the 1980s. It's true and funny, sad and heartwarming, telling a grand story with an outstandingly authentic cast, an exceptionally good soundtrack in beautiful pictures. If you want to be entertained well for an evening and you want more than just a cheap laugh, go see this movie (despite its strange title, meaning something like "The sooner you die, the longer you'll be dead") and see Bavaria beyond all kitsch!

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26 out of 28 people found the following review useful:


Author: jh-89 from Austria
25 November 2006

This movie took me completely by surprise. I had read a favorably inclined review in which it was mentioned that the film gave an interesting outlook on the effects of catholicism on children. It does so indeed, yet without ever ridiculing its subject or characters. And as if that were not enough, the film is at the same time incredibly funny.

11-year-old Sebastian is the main character who learns from his elder brother that their mother died when Sebastian was born. While this was intended as some sort of punishment for some mischief the boy was up to, the impact this news has on him was not to be foreseen... afraid of having to end up in purgatory for his sin, Sebastian is looking for ways to make himself immortal. The solutions that are suggested to him by his immediate environment are mostly questionable - yet Sebastian is more than willing to heed any advice to redeem himself.

What follows is a wild goose chase for salvation, leaving the spectator marveling at Sebastian's ingenuity and laughing about the misinterpretations that may occur when parents and teachers try to understand their children.

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33 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

one of the best movies I have seen this year

Author: tassilo7 from Germany
4 September 2006

I can recommend this movie strongly to anybody, with or without Bavarian passions / roots. I am so glad that such movies still exist - in total contrast to recent Hollywood trash.

I am not saying this as a Hollywood hater. No I do like films like "The Godfather" or "Casablanca" very much.

"Wer früher stirbt, ist länger tot" has a lot of black humor, a very good child actor, and displays funny Bavarian traditions.

And, it is a very successful combination of sad tones with funny and positive vibes.

Watch this, you won't be disappointed. Subtitles recommended for all Non-Bavarians ;-)

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

the most wicked German feelgood movie of the year

Author: Juja1 from Germany
14 November 2006

Full 10 points, would have loved to give 11. Not only the most enjoyable German movie of the year, but in general the most enjoyable movie I have seen in a long time. Contents: Take a child's fantasy, take Bavarian Catholicism, and watch a series of hilarious events unfold from this combination. If you are – such as me - German but not from Bavaria, be sure to take also a South German friend with you in order to translate the punch lines you have been missing due to dialect. If you come over this movie out of Germany, don't miss out on the fun – you're even luckier because you will most probably be watching a subtitled version. I am sure you don't have to be German in order to like this movie, because religion - and all those strange blossoms which it may spread - are truly international. Last but not least: If you're German and the rabbit from „Nach 5 im Urwald" made you laugh – here's more :-)

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully written and directed

Author: Ryan BF from United States
19 January 2008

I couldn't disagree more with the previous commentator. I saw this movie last night at the German Film Festival in Washington DC and was absolutely blown away (as was the person I watched it with). It is one of the most beautifully written movies we have ever seen. Set in rural Bavaria, the audience follows the adventures and thought processes of an 11-year old boy (played by a brilliant actor). The plot fits together perfectly, captures you completely, makes you laugh out loud hysterically at times and cry at others. The vivid portrayal of the community surrounding the boy lets you become a part of it. There was not a moment of boredom for me, and the first thing I said to my companion after the film was that I wanted to get it on DVD to watch it again. While the characterizations are larger than life, they are the farthest thing from clichés. This is a brave movie that has some of the best treatment of both youth and death that I have seen.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely charming!

Author: Lola33 from Germany
19 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gosh! I'm happy that I caught this one before it disappears out of German art-house cinemas, although, I have a feeling that the movie will move on to cult status, at least in Bavaria. Little Sebastian is a typical rascal, living in the Bavarian mountains with his dad an brother. His mother died when he was born, and one of these days, his older brother, in a fury, accuses him of killing their mom. Sebastian takes this very seriously and seeks a way to achieve redemption for his sin(s). The knowledge of being the cause of his mother's death (hitherto they had told him she died in an accident) mortifies him and he has only one goal: he must become immortal in order to avoid purgatory. He seeks help from adults, but the regulars at his fathers pub who are occasionally rehearsing an all male amateur dramatic performance there in the back room, aren't of help really. There suggestion: in order to become immortal he has to reproduce and to achieve this, ask a decent female to shag with him. Little does he know what that means, and so there he goes, asking his pretty teacher whether she would care to... The turbulence ensuing is nothing short of hilarious, and the actors' thick Bavarian accents are half the fun. In the end, Sebastian will provide a frail old lady on the verge of death with a last joyous moment, he will find a partner in crime in a pretty class mate, he will save a life, and he will find a get his dad a new love. Watch this movie while you can on the big screen or get the DVD as soon as it comes out. I laughed and cried at the cinema.

This movie has just received the Bavarian Film Award as best picture. Congratulations Marcus H. Rosenmüller!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
8 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Wer früher stirbt ist länger tot" or "Grave Decisions" is a German 100-minute movie from almost 10 years ago. It is the first full feature film by Marcus H. Rosenmüller and also his most famous work to this day. In the center of it, we have an 11-year-old boy whose mother died when he was born. As a consequence of this, he blames himself and tries to find out if he is really responsible for killing people. This sounds pretty serious, but this film is really more of a (sometimes dark) comedy than a drama movie. Rosenmüller included many funny scenes to make this a lighter watch I guess, but in my opinion it is not working, because the comedy in here feels forced from start to finish, just like I said to make this a lighter watch. But it almost never feels authentic or genuinely funny. One of the worst scenes is probably when we see and hear the protagonist at the supermarket. For no real reason, he confesses also his other sins and his dad completely out of nowhere starts attacking another guy who was just standing around, a complete stranger. This also worked against the intention of the filmmakers to make the father look likable from start to finish.

Sometimes this film also has love story elements when the boy's dad falls in love with his son's teacher. Unfortunately, none of their scenes have any real emotion attached to them, but are just poor flesh lust and strange meetings during nighttime. Of course, right at this meeting they get caught by the children. And still we are supposed to believe this is true love, in contrast to the marriage that the teacher has been in for a while. Some very weird scenes in here. The film's biggest weakness is probably the writing. It's a usual case of black-and-white character with little depth and no shades at all. Do not be fooled by this film's high IMDb rating or all the awards attention it got, came in second behind "Four Minutes" at the German Film Awards that year. This is not a good film at all, neither funny nor dramatically convincing. if you still want to watch it, you may even need a set of subtitles as a German native speaker as the Bavarian accents in here are very thick. But why would you? You''re not missing much. Not recommended.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very funny, yet touching.

Author: from England
12 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very funny yet touching comic drama about the weirdness of everyday life. Set in a small Bavarian community, it looks at the relationships within a dysfunctional all-male family. 11 year old Sebastian, known locally as der Chandler-bub (the baby of the Candler pub), is a lovable rascal, but his older brother blames him for their mother's death. Sebastian sets about trying to remedy the loss of his mother, because his guilt for this supposed crime, as well as other misdemeanors (watch out for a hilarious medieval courtroom dream sequence) weighs heavily with him. Markus Krojer lends the role of Sebastian a tremendous amount of warmth and believability. The rest of the cast are also excellent, with finely judged performances. Watch out for a delightful laundry scene involving Sebastian's father. The one real detraction is that I have not been able to get hold of a copy with English subtitles. My German is good, but this film is in Baiirish (Bavarian dialect), with High German subtitles. Copies with English subtitles are very rare.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Jimi Hendrix?! You Don't Know Who He Is?

Author: rotildao from UK
24 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Far better than expected and thinking this might be another overrated film by IMDb's users, I searched for more feedback and realized after watching it yesterday the film is superbly innocent but also cares for children's education and character building, never stealing their perspective nor viewer's mature (hopefully) intelligence.

The movie deals with serious subjects, such as mothers death after birth (and death itself), the role of fatherhood and certainly with guilt, denial and conformity.

Sebastian Schneider is simply one of the most self-identifiable characters, in many dimensions, and everyone is bounded to be attracted towards his "grave-yard" decisions. No one will scape death and therefore this film reminds us the importance of being present as best as possible in every moment we can. I shut my eyes and think Bread and Tulips, another small gem with Bruno Ganz, which gives the same feel, although not as funny as Grave Decisions (good English title but far from the original).

The script is flawless and jaw-cracking. The cast is perfect, from supporting till main roles. All scenes constantly build the mood and the story of the film (there goes editing!), as a great orchestra performing a Beethoven's classical.

So try to watch this marvelous enlightening film without too many distractions, just relax and enjoy the ride because the major goal of the film is really to communicate, and believe me, there are positive results in this exchange of feelings which will keep one's company for, I believe, quite some time.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just great

Author: zetscho from Germany
13 November 2007

A really nice little story in a (for me from Hamburg) strange region (Bavaria) where strange religious believes and other superstitions drive a young, naive boy into some hilarious situations.

The actors and characters are all really great, the story and all its funny twists are as well. I especially liked the ironic view on Bavarian country-life and the dialect (which wasn't a problem at all, but my Grannie was from Munich, so I'm used to it unless it's not completely far-off), as well as the very sensitive insight into a kid's view on the world.

And most of all: It was really funny which is a rarity in German movies. But I think you can enjoy this very well if you're Non-German, as conservative, religious countrysides aren't so uncommon elsewhere. This story could just have happened with only little differences in the Middle West or South Italy or so.

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