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Sasha (2010)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 739 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 20 critic

Sasha is a piano prodigy under pressure to gain admittance to a prestigious music school. What is really stressing Sasha is his emerging sexuality, plus his piano tutor is moving away, because Sasha is in love with him, and no one knows.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sasa Kekez ...
Sasa (as SASA Kekez)
...
Vlado (as Pedja Bjelac)
Ljubisa Gruicic ...
Pero (as LJUBISA Lupo Grujcic)
Zeljka Preksavec ...
Stanka Petrovic (as Zeljka Preksavec)
Gosia Konieczna ...
Kassiererin Tankstelle
...
Gebhard
Jasin Mjumjunov ...
Boki
Yvonne Yung Hee ...
Jiao
Arno Kempf ...
Peter
Werner Strenger ...
Grenzbeamter Walter
Christian Lessiak ...
Grenzbeamter Bürger
Ozgur Cebe ...
Schnauzbart (as Özgür Cebe)
Fang Yu ...
Herr Wang
Lucy Schaaf ...
erste Schülerin
Anastasia Clemens ...
Kinderband Surfstars
Edit

Storyline

While Sasha's mother is dreaming of her son's great career as a pianist, Sasha is left speechless for other reasons: his beloved piano teacher Mr. Weber tells him, he is leaving town forever. Sasha is heartbroken, and the only person in whom he can confide his feelings, is his best friend, Jiao. As a son of an Ex-Yugoslav family even in Germany one rarely lives outside the closet, and Sasha is grateful that his homophobic father believes Jiao is his girlfriend. But what begins as a useful lie becomes a large and complicated one, when Sasha's younger brother, begins an affair with Jiao. All lies get exposed and what appears to be a catastrophe is in fact the revelation of new possibilities in the lives of Sasha's family. Written by Dennis Todorovic

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Das Leben kann verdammt kompliziert sein! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

24 March 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Sasha  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film role for Jasin Mjumjunov, who portrays Sasha's brother, Boki. See more »

Goofs

There are many, many, many spelling and translation errors in the English subtitles. See more »

Soundtracks

Cumpletely Happy
Performed by Miss Platnum
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compassionate, fun, and with something to say.
31 May 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Though the fresh and quirky coming of age dramedy of Sasha bites off a little more than it can chew, it swallows down the most part without indigestion.

Sasha follows the 19 year old title character, as his life in Cologne hits a critical intersection. Being the son of humble migrant Montenegrins, Sasha is regularly reminded of the sacrifices his parents made for his classical piano training, with a lot riding on an audition for a prestigious music academy. Meanwhile, he is madly in love with his piano teacher, but due to his father's bigoted attitude towards homosexuality, attempts to conceal his true sexual orientation from his family. Mixing teenage angst, hormonal lust and prejudice, things heat up in the pressure cooker of Sasha's life, and with subversive plotting, things boil in unexpected ways.

What makes Sasha such a charming film is the enigmatic lead performance from newcomer Sascha Kekez, who balances teenage awkwardness and charisma with ease. This could easily have been an irritatingly self- conscious performance, but Kekez grounds the film with his natural demeanour. Also worth a mention is the effective use of his malleable face. He moves effortlessly from imploding chin (not since Toby Maguire in Spiderman have I seen so many layers) to stud, with apparent ease. But performances are tops all round. Yvonne Yung Hee as his pseudo girlfriend, Jiao, is beautiful and strong, and though Sasha's father, played by Predrag Bjelac (Karkaroff in Goblet of Fire, to us Potter nerds) overdoes the comedic scenes, he handles the drama well. With the slightest eye movement, he is able to communicate pathos, and deliver the film's most powerful moments.

What I particularly responded to in Sasha was the compassion the filmmakers showed for all of the characters, embracing them warts and all. It would have been easy to demonise Sasha's father, but he is completely humanised as we understand his sacrifice. The film doesn't condone his prejudices either, showing that parental love can be a complex notion.

To be critical, Sasha does have a tendency to become farcical, throwing off the dramady balance, but manages to keep at least one foot grounded in reality. The visuals are clean and stylish, shot on location in Cologne, and though there are a few moments when yellows dominate the colour pallet (almost becoming monochromatic) this does not detract from the drama. There are also some brilliant visual gags, in particular Sasha's failed attempts at slamming doors.

Sasha is really a film about acceptance, sexual frustration, the generation gap, and the destructive nature of bigotry, and whilst it doesn't hit the emotional jugular it aims for, this is uplifting cinema with something worthwhile to say.


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