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Soul Kitchen (2009)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 23,029 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 22 user | 112 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef.

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Title: Soul Kitchen (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Bousdoukos ...
Zinos Kazantsakis
...
Illias Kazantsakis
Pheline Roggan ...
Nadine Krüger
...
Lucia Faust
...
Shayn Weiss
...
Anna Mondstein
Wotan Wilke Möhring ...
Thomas Neumann
Lucas Gregorowicz ...
Lutz
Demir Gökgöl ...
Sokrates
Cem Akin ...
Milli
Marc Hosemann ...
Ziege
Catrin Striebeck ...
Frau Schuster vom Finanzamt
...
Knochenbrecher
...
Monica Bleibtreu ...
Nadines Großmutter
Edit

Storyline

In Hamburg, Zinos has a restaurant serving poor-man's fare; he gets by, but his girlfriend has taken a job in Shanghai, he's hurt has back and can't cook, his feckless brother can be on daily parole from jail only if Zinos employs him (though his brother doesn't want to work), a school acquaintance wants to buy the restaurant property, and the tax authority and health inspector are on his case. Zinos hires a temperamental chef and loses all his customers, signs a power of attorney giving his brother full authority at the restaurant, and buys a ticket to Shanghai. Is this a recipe for disaster? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Leben ist, was passiert, waehrend du dabei bist, andere Plaene zu machen" (Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.)

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 2009 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Soul Kitchen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,916 (USA) (20 August 2010)

Gross:

$274,385 (USA) (5 November 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a restaurant named "Soul Kitchen" in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Summer Special 2010/11 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

La Paloma
Written by Sebastián Yradier (as Sebastián de Yradier)
Performed by Los Jóvenes del Cayo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Soul Kitchen - food for one's spirit
30 December 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Director Faith Akin is often called one of the most important contemporary German directors to have emerged in recent years. Soul Kitchen is Akin' highly anticipated first attempt at a genuine comedy. So far Akin has been has been more involved in the fields of drama and romance. In a recent interview he revealed he was curious to explore a more varied range of film genres which sounds like an interesting plan. In venice this year, the film was celebrated by the audiences and scored the special jury price.

The story revolves around a restaurant/club called Soul Kitchen and the troublesome life of its respectful owner Zinos. He has to overcome many struggles involving his girlfriend, his brother and the authorities. The film is set in the heart of the diverse northern German city of Hamburg, the home turf of the two scribes Faith Akin and Adam Bousdoukos.

The makers of the film call it a new take on the idea of the "Heimatfilm" - a rather preconceived loose genre which basically defines a film to have been made in the makers home country and dealing with issues relating to home and identity.

Akin described how he studied classical sketches by Charlie Chaplin and also looked at his method of working. A simple "joke" that comes off easy and natural on screen had been reworked over and over. For some of the scenes Akin admittedly said he had to shoot 30 takes before it felt right. This made him doubt his own abilities but in the end let him grow as a filmmaker and as an individual.

The result is a stellar solid performance by the entire cast. Many jokes and payoffs will unfortunately and without a doubt get lost in translation but still the timing and heartblood of the actors will still capture anyone's attention.

Akin makes use of a couple of his "regulars": Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu and the great Birol Ünel but also introduces fresh unknown blood with the two female leads Lucia Faust and Nadine Krüger.

Having just seen another film recently I noticed myself how well this film is balanced out in comparison. There is a rhythm, a beat or a harmony. The soundtrack and editing allow the plot to flow organically and let the narrative play out smoothly. Interestingly Akin once mentioned that since "Gegen die Wand" (Head On, 2004) he is inspired by the songs used in his films in a visual way and sets out a soundtrack before the filming is finished.

The film marks Akin's first shot at wider levels of improvisation. Normally, he said in an interview with a German radio station, he has the script all planned out in detail; all the actors know what their dialogues are and maybe one or two things get changed, with feedback from the people on set but this time a lot of things were left undone on purpose to grow naturally out of the situations.

What I personally enjoyed a lot about Soul Kitchen is the way in which the film addresses its urban environment. Akin took a chance to shoot in a wide range of locations, many of which such the club "Mojo" have since closed down. It attempts to capture the spirit of the city at a point in time and successfully tells an emotional, personal story.

Recommended to anyone with a passion for fresh, clever and funny stories of life and the city.


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