For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
Lola receives a phone call from her boyfriend Manni. He lost 100,000 DM in a subway train that belongs to a very bad guy. Lola has 20 min to raise this amount and meet Manni. Otherwise, he will rob a store to get the money. Three different alternatives may happen depending on some minor event along Lola's run.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The two sentences at the opening ("The ball is round" and "The game lasts 90 minutes") are famous quotes by German soccer coaching legend Sepp Herberger. See more »
In Part 1, Lola leaves the bank and looks to her right. The shot from this side then shows Lola facing in this direction with a young woman approaching in the background (i.e. Lola's left). The next shot (from the front) has an old woman appear from Lola's left. See more »
Man... probably the most mysterious species on our planet. A mystery of unanswered questions. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? How do we know what we think we know? Why do we believe anything at all? Countless questions in search of an answer... an answer that will give rise to a new question... and the next answer will give rise to the next question and so on. But, in the end, isn't it always the same question? And always the same answer?
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During the credits, a giant, red ENDE (German for end) crawls across the background, taking several minutes to pass. See more »
The DVD version has different English subtitles than showings on pay-cable stations. Most notably, the opening credits are not translated to english on the DVD version, and small phrases are not translated, such as when Lola goes through everyone she knows, trying to get the money. Only "Dad" is translated. See more »
I have seen the movie several times, and each time I find new details and nuances that add to the story and the movies as an audiovisual delight. Friends of mine introduced me to the sound track at first on a high quality stereo system. It was amazing. I went home and ordered the CD. I am no great fan of techno music but that first track made me hold my breath because of its beauty. It felt like sitting in a cathedral and listening to a simple choral. I know, awkward comparison, but...
A few observations of my own.
Lola's first "run" reveals that her father believes she is not his biological daughter, calls her a "cuckoos egg". And it's quite possible, since we see her mom in all 3 "runs" talking on the phone with someone other than her husband. Lola is devastated. All three "runs" feature the bank security guard, trying to calm down Lola, giving her support. Every time they have intense eye contact, some silent understanding. He once even greets her with "Da bist du ja, Liebling" ("there you are, darling"). Quite strange for a bank employee to call his boss' daughter that, don't you think? We also see early on that he might have a heart condition.
In the last story segment, we see the guard again, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Lola caught a ride, for a change, to her meeting destination with Manni. Miraculously, the guard's heart condition improves as his hand reaches toward Lola's. The medic, at first annoyed ("what the heck are you doing here?") is puzzled. Lola's answer to his question, as she reaches for the guard's hand is: "Ich gehoer zu ihm." Very important, I think. Call me silly, but somehow I have this feeling that he might be her illegitimate father. As bank employee he might well have had contact with Lola's mother, and even time to have an affair with her, considering the workaholic dad being gone so much.
"Ich gehoer zu ihm" is badly translated in the subtitles as "I'll stay with him" while the German would better translate into "I belong to him." And that is something Lola could well have realized after her dad abandoned her with the accusation of being a cuckoo's egg.
The guard is also in the beginning of the movie quoting famous soccer coach Sepp Herberger's "the ball is round". It's in the league with Yogi Berra's famous word creations. The ball is round meant for Herberger, that anything can happen as long as the game is on. Expect the unexpected. Since this is a movie that wants the viewer to "think" about possibilities, why not go all the way?
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