Bertolt Brecht is alive, and he is a black deckhand aboard the MS Rheinland, an abandoned cargo vessel moored on the dingy fringes of Hamburg's busy container seaport. There's a whole world going on below deck. "Hölle Hamburg" is part left-wing conspiracy thriller, part makeshift mockumentary. I also felt like I learned quite a lot about the joys and sorrows of a freelance filmmaker (played by Martina Schiesser). My personal favorite among the movie's many oddities is the revolutionary, if somewhat hectic filing system used by the underground merchant marine; I'm writing it up as "pick at random and crumple at ease". It's like the bohemian counterpart of the old-school document management practiced by Craig Schwartz, the megalomaniac puppeteer, in "Being John Malkovich". Watch out for Makalu veteran Jens Rachut in a supporting role. Technically inferior, but that's the price you pay for guerrilla movie-making. An experience like no other. 4/10 for sheer strangeness.
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