Blog

A Note to Readers: Our blog includes news items, research materials,
and teaching resources – browse past posts by month on the right. If
you would like to contribute your own syllabus or other materials (in
English or German), please contact us at mgp@berkeley.edu.

Dügün — Die Heirat (The Marriage)

Ismet Elçi’s tragic drama follows Metin (Oğuz Tunç), a second generation immigrant living in Germany who visits his ancestral home village in Turkey after a long period of absence only to realize upon arrival that his family has arranged a marriage for him. Fearful of his father, Metin marries Aygül (Asli Altan) before telling her he didn’t mean it and would be returning to Germany to live with his fiancee, but before he can leave he finds his decision reverberating beyond what he intended when Aygül kills herself.  

Links: IMDB, FilmPortal

Genre(s): Drama

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Dreiviertelmond (Three Quarter Moon)

With actors Elmar Wepper, Mercan Türköglu, Özay Fecht.

Hartmut Mackowiak (Elmar Wepper), a taxi driver separated from his wife and stuck in his ways, is forced to reckon with the new and unpredictable when young Hayat (Mercan Türköglu), visiting her grandmother in Nuremberg, ends up in his taxi after her grandmother (Özay Fecht) has a stroke.

Links: IMDB, YouTube (Trailer)

Genre(s): Comedy, Drama

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Die alten bösen Lieder

With actors Alexander Gallant, Gerhard Hinze, Peter Lewan.

Student film from Turkish-German auteur Özgür Yildirim’s time at the Hamburg Media School.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Short

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Die Kinder meiner Tochter (My Daughter’s Children)

With actors Jürgen Prochnow, Petra Kleinert, Mia Kasalo, and Ugur Ekeroglu

After retired judge and widower Ernst Blessing (Jürgen Prochnow) loses his estranged daughter in a traffic accident, he must come to terms with his past and his loneliness when he is forced to assume responsibility for his two grandchildren until their Kurdish father is out of the hospital. Without his daughter, Ernst struggles to bridge the gap between his stolid ways and the multicultural background and experience of the youngest generation.

LinksIMDB, ZDF (Trailer), YouTube (Full movie)

Genre(s): Comedy

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Die Erbin (The Heiress)

With actors Mina Sadic and Oktay Çagla. 

A young German-Turkish woman, Hülya (Sadic), returns from Germany to her late father’s small mountain village in Turkey to write about him. As she learns more about him, she finds her impression of him shifting, nebulous and not wholly positive, and time and place itself become disoriented.

LinksIMDB, Film Portal, Vimeo (Trailer)

Genre(s): Drama

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Die alten bösen Lieder (The Bad Old Songs)

With actors Alexander Gallant, Gerhard Hinze, Peter Lewan.

The “European Visions” omnibus includes 25 short films from the 25 countries that constituted the European Union in 2004. The project was inspired by Lars von Trier. Filmmakers had five minutes to explore the theme of “Europe.”

The German segment (number 23) is titled “Die alten bösen Lieder” and was directed by Fatih Akin. It was intended to be a filmic interpretation of Heinrich Heine’s 1840 poem of the same name, which had already been set to music by Robert Schumann. “I wanted to depict a very subjective perception of Europe and in my case that is a kind of love-hate-relationship,” Akin has said of the film.

 

LinksIMDB, Film Portal

Genre(s): Short film

Theme(s): Europe; Poetry; Visions of Europe; EU

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Der nötige Schneid (What It Takes)

With actors Alexander Gallant, Gerhard Hinze, Peter Lewan.

Student film from Turkish-German auteur Özgür Yildirim’s time at the Hamburg Media School.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Short film

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Chiko

With actors Denis Moschitto, Moritz Bleibtreu, and Volkan Özcan.

Set in Hamburg and produced by Fatih Akin, Chiko is a tale of the son of an immigrant family Issa (Denis Moschitto) and his friend Tibet (Volkan Özcan) who dream of becoming big-time drug dealers, until they hook up with local dealer and pimp Brownie (Moritz Bleibtreu).

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Crime, Drama

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Berivan

With actors Ebru Kücük, Hatice Kücük, and Bawer Sahin.

Director Miraz Bezar’s short film won the prize for Best Short Film at the Nuremberg International Humans Rights Film Festival.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Drama

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Bastarde. Postmigrantisches Theater Ballhaus Naunynstraße (Bastards – Postmigrant Theater at the Ballhaus Naunynstraße)

Germany-based Turkish filmmaker Asli Özarslan’s documentary introduces us to the performers at the Berlin theater Ballhaus Naunynstraße, which features mostly actors and directors with immigrant backgrounds.

Genre(s): Documentary

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Barbara

With actors Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, and Jasna Fritzi Bauer.

Christian Petzold’s critically acclaimed historical drama follows Barbara Wolff (Nina Hoss), a physician in East Germany who is imprisoned and relocated for requesting permission to the leave the country. Though she hasn’t given up hope of escape, her plans take an unpredictable turn when she becomes involved in the case of Stella (Jasna Fritzi Bauer), a young runaway from a youth labor camp whom Barbara’s boss Dr. Andre Reiser (Ronald Zehrfeld) has accused of malingering.

Links: IMDBYouTube (Trailer)

Genre(s): Drama

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Anatolia Blues – In Memoriam Aşık Veysel

Directors Gülseren Suzan and Jochen Menzel’s documentary about Anatolian folk music pays tribute to the poet and singer Aşık Veysel.

Links: YouTube (Clip)
Genre(s): Documentary

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300 Worte Deutsch (300 Words of German)

With Pegah Ferydoni, Christoph Maria Herbst, Vedat Erincin, Christoph Letkowski.

Shot and set in Cologne, Aladağ’s comedy of culture shock and integration follows the efforts of the leader of a Turkish diaspora communit,y, Cengiz Demirkan (Vedat Erincin), to find Turkish brides for the men of the community. Dr. Ludwig Sarheimer (Christoph Maria Herbst) runs the immigration bureau and finds the Turkish women’s German skills lacking and their language certificates counterfeit, but Cengiz’s daughter Lale (Pegah Ferydoni) takes on the task of bringing their vocabulary up to snuff while falling for Dr. Sarheimer’s nephew Marc Rehmann (Christoph Letkowski).

Links: IMDBYouTube (Trailer)
Genre(s): Comedy

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Almanya Aci Vatan (Germany, Bitter Homeland)

With actors Hülya Koçyiğit, Rahmi Saltuk, Mine Tokgöz, and Suavi Eren.

Serif Gören’s pioneering production is the first major attempt by a Turkish filmmaker to address the theme of migration to Germany. Mostly shot in Berlin, the film follows Güldane (Hülya Koçyiğit), a Turkish guest worker in Germany whose unlikely marriage of convenience with a man she meets on holiday in Turkey, Mahmut (Rahmi Saltuk), turns into something more when the two are faced with the overwhelming alienation and difficulty of life as a migrant in West Germany.

Links: IMDB

Genre(s): Drama

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Zwischen Welten (Inbetween Worlds)

With actors Ronald Zehrfeld and Mohamad Mohsen.

Ronald Zehrfeld and Mohamad Mohsen star as Jesper, a German soldier in Afghanistan, and his interpreter Tarik, whose friendship is tested by the bitter realities of the conflict in Afghanistan and by the demands of their respective cultures. When Tarik’s sister is threatened, Jesper is caught between his duties as an occupier and his burgeoning connection with the humanity of the occupied.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Drama, War

Posted in Filmography |

Willkommen bei den Hartmanns

With actors Erik Kabongo and Elyas M’Barek.

A wealthy Munich family decides to take in a Nigerian refugee, Diallo (Erik Kabongo), but their open hearts have not prepared them for the reality of Germany’s intolerance. This highly topical comedy attempts to bring both levity and insight to the pressing nexus of issues around Germany’s development as an “immigrant nation.”

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Comedy; Drama

Posted in Filmography |

Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark (We Are Young. We Are Strong)

With actors Devid Striesow and Jonas Nay.

Director Burhan Qurbani’s drama presents a fictionalized version of the events of the 1992 Rostock-Lichtenhagen riots, in which xenophobic mobs attacked migrant living quarters while thousands of onlookers cheered them. The film’s nuanced characterizations present a complex picture of the participants in the riots, illustrating how the moral fabric of society can break down.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Drama, Historical

Posted in Filmography |

Victoria

With actors Laia Costa and Frederick Lau.

Shot in a single take, Victoria follows the title character, an adventurous young Spanish woman who moves to Berlin after failing in her career aspirations as a concert pianist. There, she becomes entangled in the criminal schemes of four men who enlist her help as a getaway driver in their bank heist.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Drama

Posted in Filmography |

Tschick

With actors Alexander Scheer and Uwe Bohm.

Director Fatih Akin’s film is an adaptation of Wolfgang Herrndorf’s 2010 novel Tschick (Why We Took the Car), widely considered unfilmable. The film follows two teenagers (Alexander Scheer, Uwe Bohm) who steal a car and take a road trip through Eastern Germany, discovering the country and themselves in a touching and comical coming-of-age romp.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Comedy; Drama

Posted in Filmography |

Vor der Morgenröte (Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe)

With actors Josef Hader and Barbara Sukowa.

This European coproduction chronicles the exile of Stefan Zweig, the Austrian Jewish author who fled Austria to Brazil in 1936. In South America, Zweig (Josef Hader) struggles to carve out his own nuanced perspective on Germany and the war, independently of the polarization of the political extremes. At the same time, his time in Brazil brings him into contact with a new world that will change his life and writing forever.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Drama; Biography

Posted in Filmography |