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Argentina, in the middle fifties. Sulamit is the daughter of German-Jewish refugees. Friedrich is the son of German-Nazis refugees. Both children are closely friends as times goes by between the fall of Peron's Government in 1955 and the years of prison, torture and death in Argentina since 1976 to 1983. The children grow up and go to Germany, both get involved in the political struggles of 1968 and Friedrich, who always rejected the Nazi past of his father, becomes a left winged militant and decides to come back to Argentina to fight against the Military Government. The love of Sulamit for Friedrich survives all these years, though he dedicates more time to his political commitments than to his personal feelings. But those two are destined to get together after all these years of separation and disagreements, because their love is more powerful than anything else. Written by
Jecosta, Montevideo, Uruguay
"El amigo alemán" or "Der deutsche Freund" or "The German Friend" is a co-production between Argentina and Germany from 2012, so this one has its 5th anniversary this year. It is a mix of Spanish and German language and this also becomes visible in the cast. German film buffs like myself will certainly have heard of the names Sadler and Riemelt, while Spanish movie lovers will probably recognize Celeste Cid. As for the story, this is another film about Nazi Germany, well partially. The roots of the characters are there, but the time depicted in here is already a decade later (when they were kids) and even much later when they are grown-ups. It is basically about the connection / love story between Riemelt's and Cid's character from start to finish during these 100 minutes. Unfortunately, in my opinion this film never really makes a difference in terms of either the romance or the political component that makes it really stand out of the gray mass of films that deal with a similar political background, even if admittedly not too many of them are set in Argentina. Then again, this one isn't really either as the grown-up part plays in Germany again and the new political climate with left wing terrorism in the 1970s plays a major part as well. maybe this film just tried to be too much for a film of slightly over 90 minutes, but still I must say there was not one moment, one character or one performance that stood out here. I give it a thumbs-down and I cannot say I am too sad that Argentinian/German writer and director Jeanine Meerapfel has not yet made a new movie since the five years when this came out. The film bubbles along in a mostly forgettable way and even if it is not a failure, it is still a missed opportunity. I suggest you watch something else instead.
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