On 24th August 1992 in the eastern German city of Rostock a rampaging mob, to the applause and cheering of more than 3,000 bystanders, besieged and set fire to a residential building ...
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Romek is a Polish railway worker and Guido is a German soldier. They are both 17, in love with jazz and the same pretty girl. But it's 1943 somewhere in Nazi-occupied Poland, and their lives are bound to change soon.
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Constantin von Jascheroff,
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On 24th August 1992 in the eastern German city of Rostock a rampaging mob, to the applause and cheering of more than 3,000 bystanders, besieged and set fire to a residential building containing, among others, more than 120 Vietnamese men, women and children on what has since become known as "The Night of the Fire." The riots became a symbol for xenophobia in the just recently reunited Germany. This film recounts the incident from the perspectives of three very different characters. Lien is a Vietnamese woman who settled in Germany, but at the end of the day she will be fighting for her life wondering if the place she called home could ever be one for her. Stefan and his friends are part of the night's violent turmoil. Young and angry, bored during the daytime, they look forward to the nightly riots and clashes with the police and foreigners. Unable to cope with his grief at the loss of a friend, Stefan gets lost in a circle of violence. Stefan's father Martin is an ambitious local ... Written by
German Films Service + Marketing
The movie focuses on a group of aimless youths with bleak prospects and their role in the riots against the asylum seekers' house. The other thread shows a local politician, who is the father of one of the depicted youths and who is being left alone by his superiors.
Although the group's inner dynamics and their frustrations are dealt with in a very sensitive way, the action is extremely slow paced and not very emotionally engaging.
After having watched the movie, I wanted to know what really happened that night in Rostock Lichtenhagen. So I turned to the Wikipedia article covering the infamous event. And there it was: the real thriller!
I will not reveal my conclusions, but there were very strange things going on the federal level, very strange things said by the heads of the then ruling CDU, very strange directions to the police. Read it yourself, you will hardly believe it!
Let me give you just one example: in the aftermath, there was only one member of the two big parties CDU and SPD (the latter ruling in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) truly condemning the riots as well as the failure of the government, Knut Degner. The next day he was released from office (!).
So the real thriller happened not in Rostock on the streets but in Bonn and Schwerin behind closed doors. The movie should have taken this in to account. Or maybe a documentary would have been genre more appropriate.
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