I was a bit wrongfooted by this one as it isn’t the sort of film you expect fatih akin to make. Whereas his films are often populated by sympathetic working class german turks, this is a comedy – i guess – about a murderous racist and sexist.
The film largely takes place in and around zum goldenen handschuh – the sort of hamburg pub where you can buy cheap spirits by the bottle and they keep the curtains drawn to keep out he sunlight. You get the feeling that the sailors’ fistfight that we witness is a fairly regular occurence,
Just about everyone in the film has beeen defeated by life, drinking alcohol and subjecting their bodies to abuse to numb the pain. And that’s where i have slight misgivings – you’re never really sure whether the humour is punching up or down
A young couple enter the pub to experience “real people”. On the one hand this is poking fun at an oversentimentalisation of working class people, just because they are poor. On the other, virtually no characters in the film show any sign of vitality and you worry whether akin is being condescending.
On the basis of his other films, I’d think maybe not, but the effect is something like an ari kaurismaki film where half of the jokes don’t work. There’s plenty to see, which makes a visit worthwhile but somehow i didn’t feel quite right,