6.5/10
539
4 user 35 critic

Zwischen Welten (2014)

Jesper is a soldier in the German army. Although his brother was killed whilst serving in Afghanistan, he nevertheless reports for a new tour of duty in this war zone. He and his unit are ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Hauptmann Jesper Rubin
Mohsin Ahmady ... Tarik Rahimi
Saida Barmaki ... Nala
Salam Yousefzai ... Haroon (as Abdul Salam Yosofzai)
... Oberst Haar (as Burghart Klaussner)
... Oliver Kremmer
... Teckl
Tobias Schönenberg ... Petze
Roman Rien ... Sepp (as Roman-Timothy Rien)
Abdul Sabor Rasooly ... Zia Khan
Sher Aqa ... Malik Habib
Ali Reza ... Fela
Abdul Shukur ... Nazir
Haji Najaf ... Alter Mann
Mohammad Salim ... Adil
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Storyline

Jesper is a soldier in the German army. Although his brother was killed whilst serving in Afghanistan, he nevertheless reports for a new tour of duty in this war zone. He and his unit are to protect a remote village from the Taliban. One of the people accompanying Jesper is a young interpreter, Tarik, whose job includes mediating between soldiers and villagers. Both sides have a hard time trying to overcome the differences in their respective ways of life. Jesper must gain the trust of both villagers and the allied Arbaki militia and his nerves are soon on edge. He finds himself increasingly morally conflicted as a result of his superiors' orders. His association with the Germans means Tarik's life is constantly under threat, but when Tarik begins to fear for his sister's safety, Jesper has to make a decision. Feo Aladag uses this portrait of an ISAF soldier in Afghanistan to explore questions of affinity and otherness, trust and failure. How humane can your actions be if you are ... Written by Anonymous

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Drama | War

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27 March 2014 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Inbetween Worlds  »

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User Reviews

 
Culture clashes along 3 plot lines: Afghan interpreter as intermediary, his sister showing promise for the future, and the difficult position of German soldiers sent there
9 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

I saw this film at the Berlinale film festival 2014 as part of the official Competition section, in a venue with over 1,500 booked seats. It turned out to be perfect drama with all the elements I love to see in a story: loyalty, chain of command issues, dichotomy between "them" and "us" where no side is good or bad, dilemma's how would I act myself in such a situation, and so on.

The plot offers several opportunities to showcase the culture clash between the visiting soldiers and the local people. Nice quote from Afghan commander: "Many armies like yours came here and achieved nothing." An even better Afghan proverb I feel compelled to repeat here: "You have watches but we have the time." Apart from the actual story line, the film overall shows that sending military to Afghanistan (and similar places) sounds nice on TV, but it does not work out that way "in the field".

We see three sides of the plot develop in parallel: (1) German officer Jesser whose brother was killed in the same area while leading a small military group in support of an outpost with local military. (2) Interpreter Tarik whose father was killed before his eyes to set an example demonstrating what happens with someone working for the wrong side. And (3) Tarik's sister who follows a technical course on a university, showing promise in the younger generation.

All in all, the three plot lines get an even chance to develop, and offers the opportunity to feel along with the characters involved. It is impossible for us, from our comfy chairs, to judge how realistic all this is, but I'm prepared to allow much leeway for a film maker to get his/her message across in an edible format.


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