I wanted to introduce a new feature for German learners that highlight some of the great options in German cinema. Because, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s difficult finding videos to watch for practice that are interesting and involving. Granted, these are standard films so they aren’t necessarily going to be easy but it’s a good challenge.
First up is my favorite German filmmaker, Fatih Akin.
Gegen die Wand (Head-On)
Cahit (Birol Ünel) is a stand-offish, suicidal man with anger and drug problems. When he gets manipulated into marrying Sibel (Sibel Kekilli) so that she can escape her conservative Turkish German family, he isn’t very happy about it. She struggles to make their situation work while exploring her new freedom as a young woman in Hamburg, indulging in nightlife and short skirts. The film follows their struggles to connect.
Crossing The Bridge – The Sound of Istanbul
While Akin has made a number of dramatic and even a few comedic films, he also has made several documentaries. This documentary explores Turkish music through the eyes of Einstürzende Neubauten‘s Alexander Hacke. In addition to having a wonderful soundtrack and beautiful scenery, the film also is extremely fascinating as it explores music and instruments that aren’t common to Western culture.
Goofy and silly, Soul Kitchen is a light hearted comedy about a young Greek-German, Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos). He opens his own restaurant while his girlfriend is abroad for work. Things aren’t going so well in the restaurant business. Trying to shake things up, Zinos hires Shayn (Birol Ünel), a difficult to work with chef who’s more used to fine dining than casual food. Add to that Zinos’ reoccurring back problems and Zinos’ shady brother (Moritz Bleibtreu), fresh out of prison, for some extra comedic moments.