For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
East Germany, the year 1989: A young man protests against the regime. His mother watches the police arresting him and suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma. Some months later, the GDR does not exist anymore and the mother awakes. Since she has to avoid every excitement, the son tries to set up the GDR again for her in their flat. But the world has changed a lot. Written by
Last night I watched it for the second time. I'd seen it at the cinema two years ago, then last night my boyfriend, who hadn't seen it, decided to rent it. I loved it first time round, I loved it second time round, maybe even a tad more than I did originally. With wonderfully engaging characters all round, the film is endowed with a great sense of humour, both visual and verbal (and those Europhobic old Brits keep going on about how the Germans have no sense of humour!), it's socially relevant yet easier to watch than a straight comedy. The script is intelligent yet accessible to anyone, even a shallow teenager with no attention span whatsoever... yet IT is never shallow. And most of all, it's a deeply moving little gem of a film which however never abuses its secure grip on the heart-strings. I could see even my boyfriend was dewy-eyed at some points! And so was I, even more than two years ago. A small but perfectly formed film, it's actually not as small as one might think at first impact. Love (specifically, filial love) is its main theme, treated in a schmaltz-free, fresh, non-superficial and a non-clichéd manner.
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