In the sixties Romano Amato, his wife Rosa and their two sons Giancarlo and Gigi emigrate from Solino in Italy to Duisburg in the Ruhr area and establish the first Pizza restaurant in town.... See full summary »
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"Deutschland 09 - 13 kurze Filme zur Lage der Nation" or "Germany 09: 13 Short Films About the State of the Nation" is a German film from 2009 (of course!). Well, actually it is 13 films in one movie and these do not really have a strong connection with each other except that the goal was to make a statement on what defines Germany in the 21st century. It will soon have its 10th anniversary, but it also could be from a year ago or so. Each short film was written and directed by another filmmaker and there are some fairly big names in the list. I will spare you the exact names, you know where to find them. As it is a collection of films, it is of course not required to watch them all in one sitting as the overall outcome is really long here at slightly under 2.5 hours. This means that each film has an average of 10-11 minutes, which isn't really that much. And as spectacular as the list of directors may be, the list of actors is at least as impressive. This definitely was a prestigious project and I think I read references about Fassbinder's "Deutschland im Herbst", even if this one here is certainly not as political as RWF's work.
So yes there were segments in here that I kinda liked, but eventually the film fails due to its big ambition. The more it tried to be defining the worse it became. There is for example one part where Germany is treated like a body suffering from fractures etc. that stand metaphorically for what is wrong with the country now and this was perhaps my least favorite as it felt really try-hard at times. Another thing that is obvious here is how Germany is defined by immigration and this is now in 2017 probably even more true than it was back in 2009, but characters with a foreign background play big roles in here too at times. This includes the filmmakers too as for example Faith Akin made one of the best segments as expected. Had all been on par with his, I'd certainly have given a higher rating. Or the classroom democracy part was good too which was a positive surprise as it was maybe the one with the least impressive cast and crew. A shout-out to Markovics who gave the best acting performance in my opinion in the entire thing. Bierbichler was good too and he elevated the material in his sequence considerably. But some of the others were just too weak for me to recommend the entire thing. It is a bit of a pity that it seems fairly difficult to check out specific short films from this movie because some definitely deserve to be seen more than others. But the weaker parts drag it down as a whole to an extent where I give the overall outcome a thumbs-down and don't recommend the watch. It's pretty hard to find these days anyway, but that's not a problem at all as they clearly came short in achieving their goal and to me the title is a lie.
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