‘WELCOME TO GERMANY’ (‘Willkommen bei den Hartmanns’), Germany
Directed by Simon Verhoeven
1 Hr. 56 mins
SATURDAY 9 JUNE, 4:00 PM (With ENGLISH & THAI Sub-Titles)
We are happy that our Opening Film deals with a very topical subject – the refugee-situation in Europe.
The story is studded with a wide range of characters, events, issues, crises. But there are also many scenes of fun and comedy.
At the heart of the story, is the large Hartmann family, each of whom is going through a crisis. There is the successful doctor Richard who doesn’t want to age or retire, his idealistic wife Angelika who is drifting from her husband, their workaholic lawyer-son Philipp who neglects his son Basti, who consequently has many problems in school, their daughter Sofie who dislikes her study-courses and doesn’t know what she wants, until she meets the Arab-origin doctor Tarek Berger whom her father dislikes.
Into this dysfunctional family, enters a Nigerian refugee Diallo Makaburi, whom they offer their home to, and who slowly starts making a difference to all their lives. It is a big learning process for him too, as he is confused by many things in Germany.
But in the end, they know they can’t do much about ensuring him asylum in their country, thanks to wary neighbors, terrorist threats, suspicious police, right-wing activists. It is a moment of reckoning for all of them.
The film’s director stated that the refugee- situation was “Complex and complicated. But this confusion also is fertile ground for comedy!”
The story indeed, has many scenes of high comedy. But important issues are also discussed under the garb of comedy. The film has various levels to it, and is funny, moving, thought-provoking.
The movie, with a well-known cast, won the Audience Award at various festivals, and was a sensational ‘hit’ in Germany. It won many awards in Germany-the German Film Award LOLA, Jupiter Award for Best National Film, German Cinema Award for Peace.
The Guardian: ‘The country’s first refugee-themed comedy.’
The New Yorker: ‘Each character in the film seems to stand in for a different German response to the refugee crisis.’
The film event is supported by the Goethe-Institut and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, who will serve drinks and snacks, after the screening.
The Ambassador of Germany H.E. Peter Prügel, will introduce the film.
The Film Screenings will be held in the new RCB FORUM room (2 Floor ).