Characters of great authenticity: other side by Fatih Akin

Article published on Oct. 21, 2007
Article published on Oct. 21, 2007
The success of German films abroad

Integration, quest of the origins, search of belongings, death and forgiveness, the relationship between a father and his son or between a mother and her daughter – “Other side”, the new movie produced by Fatih Akin tackles many issues without looking too much. The most refreshing about this movie is the way it shows normal life in Germany, how it stresses today’s way of life without exaggeration and very little melancholy. The film was shown this week in Paris during the 12th German movie festival.

"Other side" by Fatih Akin

Characters of great authenticity

For most of them, the characters are real ideals. Still, they remain credible. There is, for example, this son, a Turkish immigrant of the second generation, who embodies the representation of a successful integration : He is a university teacher in Arts. He teaches Goethe. But there is also this young German student coming back from a trip to India. She has many convictions but very few ideas of what she wants to do in her life. Her trip to India and, later on, to Istanbul, are not so special as her mother (who belongs to the “68th” generation) followed the same path.

The success of German films abroad

Generally speaking, German films have encountered great success for the last few years and represent an important part of the domestic market. Still, what is shown abroad corresponds to a slight part of the German production and, most of the time, is not representative of its diversity. Great commercial successes that instantly come to our minds like “Goodbye Lenin”, “The lives of others”  or “Sophie Scholl” mostly deal with German recent or more ancient history. Undoubtedly, these are movies of great quality, which manage to bring a critical eye on History, free of any complex.

But there is more to discover than discussing the past

However, with this year big successes in Germany, “Other side” and “Four minutes”, we can see that accurate topics are much more diverse and rich. Siding Fatih Akin, other producers,  are working on multi-cultural society problems, depicting Germany as it is today. Detlev Buck’s “Knallhart” (released in 2006) called much controversy because of its brutal description of social life in a poor Berlin suburb, just like “Neukölln” did. Nevertheless, “Four minutes” is about a young pianist in a women’s jail.

In a nutshell, there is much to discover in the German film-making ! “Other side” and “Four minutes” will be released very soon in France.