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.

Palermo oder Wolfsburg (Palermo or Wolfsburg)

Werner Schroeter’s Swiss/West German coproduction follows Nicola (Zarbo), an Italian immigrant who comes to West Germany looking for work. Despite his language difficulties, Nicola is quick to settle in and falls in love with a German girl, Brigitte (Tilg). When Brigitte leaves him, however, he becomes enraged. In his rage he stabs two of Brigitte’s male friends to death, believing them to be her suitors, and must face the consequences for his actions.

Links: IMDB
Genre(s): Drama

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Nefesim Kisilene Kadar (Until I Lose My Breath)

Nefesim Kisilene Kadar, director Emine Emel Balcı’s debut feature, follows Serap (Madra), a young Turkish girl who is forced to abandon her unsatisfying life working at a clothing factory and living with her sister and brother-in-law, moving in with her truck driver father (Akin), who needs more help from her than she needs from him.

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

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Min Dît (Before Your Eyes)

Two young Kurdish siblings living in Diyarbakir in Turkish Kurdistan, Gülîstan (Orak) and Firat (Al), are placed into the care of their activist aunt Yakbun (Eminoglu) after their parents are murdered in front of them by paramilitary gunmen. When Yakbun herself goes missing, the two children are forced to survive on the streets.

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

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Luks Glück (Luk’s Luck)

With actors René Vaziri and Sinan Bengier.

A Turkish-German family is not only spoilt for choice but riven by it when young Luk wins the lottery. Things get harder, not easier, as entire family must decide what to do with the money.

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

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Kückückskind (Cuckoo Kid)

With Ava Celik, Robert Alexander Baer, Natalia Wörner, and Siir Eloglu.

Switched by accident at birth, Dominik Greve (Baer) and Ayse Güngör (Ava Celik) are reunited with their birth families for two weeks in an attempt to get to know each other. Stereotypes are drawn upon as cultures clash and the protagonists come to grow as people through their new experiences outside of their comfort zone.

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

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Krüger aus Almanya (Krüger from Germany)

Aired on German television by ARD, Krüger aus Almanya is the story of Paul Krüger (Krause), a xenophobic widower who used to be a stone mason in the GDR.  He is forced to confront his prejudice when he travels to Anatolia to talk his granddaughter Annie (Unterberger) out of her decision to marry Deniz (Günes), a waiter in Ankara with his own set of concerned family who also oppose the marriage.

Links: IMDB, Vimeo (Trailer)
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance

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Kadir

Links: IMDB, FilmPortal
Genre(s): Documentary

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Fack Ju Göhte 3 (Suck Me Shakespeer 3)

With actors Elyas M’Barek and Jella Haase.

In the third entry in the blockbuster comedy franchise Fack ju Göhte, Elyas M’Barek returns as Zeki Müller, still at the Goethe-Gesamtschule after his relationship with Lisi has come to an end and she has moved to England. Zeki now has to prepare his students, including Chantal Ackermann (Jella Haase), for their final exams despite the rampant dysfunction both at home and at school.

Links: IMDB, YouTube (Trailer)
Genre(s): Comedy

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Einmal Hans mit scharfer Soße (Hans with Spicy Sauce)

Based on the autobiographical novel by Hatice Akyün, Einmal Hans mit scharfer Soße follows Hatice Coscun (Idil Üner) and her pregnant sister Fatma (Sesede Terziyan) as they rush to find Fatma a husband before their father Ismail (Adnan Maral) finds out about the pregnancy. German men come and go as the sisters pull out all the stops, deceiving their father in order to not offend his traditional sensibilities and keep the family together.

Links: IMDB, YouTube (Trailer)

Genre(s): Comedy, Biographical, Drama

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Ein Fest für Beyau (A Celebration for Beyhau)

A short film by Kurdish-German auteur Ayşe Polat.

Links: IMDB

Genre(s): Short

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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)

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 (The Evil Old Songs)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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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