The 25-year-old Lara (Aylin Tezel) takes her studies in architecture not very seriously and spends her free time with her best friend Nora (Henrike of Kuick) in Techno clubs. She is ... See full summary »
Pola Schirin Beck
Henrike von Kuick,
In October 1989, the part of the West Berlin borough of Kreuzberg called SO 36, had been largely shut off by the Wall from the rest of the city for 28 years. A lethargic sub-culture of ... See full summary »
The film was shot primarily in German. To give an impression how the Turkish guest workers and their families felt when they came to Germany in the 1960s, the passages spoken by German characters in the flashback scenes are spoken in a German-like gibberish. See more »
To be fair: who says that migration-related films cannot be positive, but have to be bleak and ripe with social criticism à la 'Into this World'? The idea to portray the arrival and gradual integration of a Turkish family in Germany without a speck of racism or aggravation could appear almost bold, given that such a subject matter almost invariably descends into the abysses of social or moral decay. Yet 'Almanya' attempts to be an uplifting, encouraging comedy of sorts, and obviously intends to highlight the positive aspects of integration. Religious matters are completely obliterated, women's issues are gently brushed aside, the entire story revolves around a family so intact, so void of disintegration and serious conflict that it could very well substitute for a Turkish Trapp family, if there was more singing.
Being so picture-perfect, the family (and the film) can never shake a whiff of artifice and dullness. Given its inclusion in this year's Berlin competition, and a fairly wide release for a domestic film, one cannot help but wonder if this isn't a German propaganda effort promoting integration to lesser satisfied migrants: Look, this is how easy you could make it for yourselves in our golden land of opportunity. Perceived as such, 'Almanya' becomes almost enjoyable as a parody of sorts. But if you're interested in how things really are for migrants in Germany, you're better off with Faith Akin's 'Head-on' and 'Short Sharp Shock', or Özgür Yildirim's 'Chiko'.
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