Thursday, October 5, 2006


Henry Hubchen, Hannelore Esner, Udo Samuel, Anja Franke, Rolf Hoppe

German Film Festival
Cinema 3, Shang Cineplex


Jaeckie Zucker, a former East German sports announcer in his hey days is basically down on his luck. His wife wants a divorce, his children are alienated from him and he faces arrest if he doesn't settle his debts amounting to a whooping 44,500 Euros. His mother who he hasn't seen in ages, dies. Her inheritance is to be distributed between her two sons. Unfortunately, Samuel and Jaeckie haven't spoken nor seen each other in 40 years. The brothers are complete opposites. Samuel is a succesful yet traditional Orthodox Jew with a closely knit family. Jaeckie, on the other hand has completely renounced his Jewish faith and has a huge gambling problem. If only way out is to get his share of his mother's inheritance. Yet easier said than done. His mother has strictly stated in her will, 5 very important rules before her estate is to be divided between the two brothers.
Would they be able to adhere to her last wishes? Or would they continue to take the stubborn path to self destruction? Those are the main questions which will be revealed in a rather ambiguous ending.

Sibling rivalry, filial responsibilities and social conflicts among the characters are some of the points strongly explored in this witty and funny film. The ensemble cast fleshed out well developed characters. But kudos really goes to the actor who plays Jaeckie Zucker, he was very convincing as the down trodden loser who still keeps taking chances and risks. The concise plot is fast paced. It flows constantly with conflicts arising on several occasions. A witty dialogue adds to the comedic nature of this film. It is also an interesting look into the deeply rooted customs and traditions of the Jewish faith. As well as provide a good glimpse of snippets of life in Germany in this post Communist era.

The main reason why I like to watch foreign movies a lot is to see how people in other parts of the world live, love as well as deal with conflicts. Thanks to foreign film festivals I can do that without traveling half way across the globe.

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