4.1/10
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Bibi & Tina: Tohuwabohu total (2017)

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Fabian Buch ...
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Lisa-Marie Koroll ...
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Tarik Schmüll (as Emilio Moutaoakkil)
Martin Seifert ...
Lina Larissa Strahl ...
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Adea / Aladin
Max von der Groeben ...
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23 February 2017 (Germany)  »

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Follows Bibi & Tina (2014) See more »

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The Lightness is Gone
21 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

For all you non-German IMDb users: Where shall I start? There is a very popular German series of books / audio books / animated TV shows called 'Bibi Blocksberg' about an ordinary girl with (good and nice and helpful) witchcraft abilities. It aims at 4 to 8 year old's, mainly girls.

There is a spin-off to that series called Bibi & Tina which lets the heroine witch Bibi spend her holidays at a horse camp, befriending the owners' daughter Tina. This aims at 6 to 10 year-old girls, mixes the witch-girl genre with girl-horse-adventures which should sound completely silly to you all but works beautifully with the target audience and is a tremendous success selling books, CDs, and TV air time.

Some years ago, Bibi & Tina made their full-feature cinema debut. The film was a surprise success, not only at the box office, but it also received positive reviews. Director Detlev Buck has a track record of some excellent German comedy movies, and he did a good job in shifting the setup to targeting a more grown-up audience of 8 to 14 year old's. It was nicely filmed (for German standards), the kids just loved it, and there were also some jokes added for the accompanying parents.

So they made a sequel and another sequel, and Bibi & Tina 4 is the last of the line.

So much for introduction.

The plot of the 4th movie is about a girl that fled from Albania to avoid being married to some elder man. Her uncle and her cousins follow her to Germany and try to catch her. Another cousin, living in Germany, is called for support, but him being more Western and modern in his mindset (and even more so: gay), he is not much of a help. Also meet two refugees from Syria, one stuck with his traditional views and supporting the Albanian villains in their hunt, while his little brother is on the girl's side promoting individual freedom of choice and gender equality. Also meet a group of musicians from Mali touring Europe and coming on Castle Falkenstein to test the elder count's tolerance (his son is Tina's boyfriend, in case you shouldn't know).

If this sounds all very constructed and over-the-top to you, you are right. The filmmakers try to take the most prevailing society issues and discussions in Germany (which were in 2016: refugees and integration and the conflict between Western values and traditional Muslim views) and make them the plot driver of their movie.

For me this didn't work too well. The film is lacking the somewhat silly charm of its predecessors. The makers tried just too hard to make it relevant and up to the time.

However, the present rating of this at IMDb is below 4 and I don't think that this is a fair representation. To me, a critical 5 of 10. And one star alone goes to the very funny parody of Donald Trump (this was shot before he was elected US President!) as greedy orange-faced constructor Dirk Trumpf.


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