Instant Kino: Episode 001

“Look Who’s Back” and “Colonia”

Just a few short years ago, the idea of legally having access to some of the latest German films seemed so far away. There were hacked DVD players, pricey DISH TV subscriptions and, as a last resort, bootlegged streams or torrents. While those methods may still be required to find that certain movie that you must see, streaming movie services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, collectively offer more than 100 options that are ready to watch with no hassle.

Of course anyone that subscribes to ‘all you can watch’ services knows that finding the movie you want to watch can be a daunting experience. It is easy to click the “Add To My List” button for any movie that sounds remotely entertaining, but when the time comes to actually pick the movie you want to watch, that list is overwhelming, and the struggle become real.

That is why we are launching Instant Kino, the very first German Pulse Original Series, where we sort through that growing list of German movies and provide a much more manageable list of two picks each episode. With each pick we will offer a short synopsis and review, along with a trailer, so you know what you are getting into before you decide to hit play.

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LOOK WHO’S BACK

Comedy | NR | 2015 | 1hr 56min ・ NETFLIX *

Look Who’s Back is not the typical Hitler movie you’re used to seeing. This bold tale, based off of the book by the same name, is a satyrical take on what would happen if Hitler magically awoke from the dead, appearing in modern day Germany without knowing that time had passed.

It takes some time for Hitler to realize this is not anything like the Germany he left, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting a piece of the limelight once again. With the help of a struggling news reporter, Hitler finds his audience on TV where his status as an impersonator shifts into a person with influential power.

A major aspect of this movie that makes it stand out is that while portions of the movie are scripted, there are large chunks that have Hitler, played by Oliver Masucci, out interacting with the unsuspecting German public. For a society that mostly turns away from anything relating to its Nazi history, the interactions portrayed in the film can be somewhat unsettling.

While its usually safe to leave the movie once the credits roll, this is not one of those cases. Look Who’s Back was released when Germany was beginning to feel the overwhelming impact of the refugee crisis, and the public was on the verge of a deep divide. The end credits begin to put this unrest into perspective and will leave you wondering what would actually happen if a figure, much like Hitler, entered into the political scene at this moment of time.

Most movies come and go on Netflix, but Look Who’s Back will be sticking around. After the success the movie had in Germany, Netflix rushed to secure the exclusive rights to the film in the United States. Even though it most likely will still be available in the years to come, this is one of those movies that you will still want to watch as soon as possible.

* available on Netflix at the time of original broadcast on November 18, 2016

MOVIE SCORE

7.2

OUT OF 10

STORY
7
Pacing
7
Acting
6
Provoking
8
Entertaining
8
 

COLONIA

Thriller | R | 2016 | 1hr 50min ・ NETFLIX *

Unlike many of the other German movies available to stream, Colonia can easily fool you into thinking it’s just another American Hollywood movie. With Emma Watson in a leading role, and the fact that the movie is almost entirely in English, it is easy to see why this movie could be overlooked. Don’t be fooled though, as this movie is still very much German.

Colonia tells the true story of the secretive German-run Colonia Dignidad cult in the middle of Chile. Set during the 1973 Chilean military coup, the movie centers around Lufthansa flight attendant Lena (Emma Watson) and her love affair Daniel (Daniel Brühl), who both find themselves trapped in the camp under very different circumstances.

Under the leadership of the notorious Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist), it is easy to see his former Nazi allegiance and the similarities to the WWII concentrations camps once inside.

Lena and Daniel have to work together to find their way out of the high security camp, one in which no one held captive had ever left alive, and try to expose the horrific operation to the world.

It is a chilling tale that intensifies as the movie progresses, and the fact that it can be enjoyed without English-subtitles makes it a good German movie night pick for those who despise foreign films due to having to read along.

* available on Netflix at the time of original broadcast on November 18, 2016

MOVIE SCORE

6.6

OUT OF 10

STORY
7
Pacing
6
Acting
6
Provoking
7
Entertaining
7