Instant Kino: Episode 002

“Kings of Kallstadt” and “Dieter Nuhr: Nuhr in Berlin”

We are back for another episode of Instant Kino, where we highlight two German movies freely available on the top streaming movie services in the U.S., including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Why pay for pricy cable packages or illegally hack the system to stream or download bootleg copies when the options available to you right at your couch are literally in the hundreds? With all of those new choices, we are here to make sorting through them all a breeze, and you will have a better idea of what to watch and what to possibly avoid.

In the last episode, we brought two narrative picks to you — Look Who’s Back and Colonia — but this time Instant Kino is dropping the narrative to bring you a very timely documentary featuring Donald Trump’s family hometown and Netflix’s first attempt at introducing the world to German standup comedy.

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KING’S OF KALLSTADT

Documentary | NR | 2014 | 1hr 28min ・ NETFLIX / AMAZON PRIME *

Come January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will take over the oval office as the 45th President of the United States, but how much do you know about his German roots? The people of Kallstadt, Germany know quite a lot on the topic, and they have a documentary to show for it. Kings of Kallstadt tells the story of two very famous names to come out of this tiny wine growing village: Trump and Heinz. Both are well recognized names, but their family origins are not.

Donald Trump’s story dominates the film, much like today’s headlines, and lets face it, out of the two featured in this documentary, Trump is still the dominate public figure of his brand. The real story though actually centers around the people of Kallstadt and their strong hold on the ties that exist between both names. It’s as if no one with a family connection ever has left the town since the departure of Trump and Heinz.

Kings of Kallstadt isn’t your award-winning documentary, but the cultural relevance is stronger now than it was just a few years ago when this film came out. The parts that are borderline cringeworthy are also the pieces that make this movie entertaining. Whether you were Team Trump or Team Hillary, you will at least find pieces of this film insightful or at least enjoyable. Pairing it with a drink is almost mandatory.

* available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video at the time of original broadcast on December 16, 2016

MOVIE SCORE

5.6

OUT OF 10

*For documentaries, we base our “Acting” score on the filmmaker’s ability to capture the subjects with believability and an on-screen presence that plays off as natural and comfortable.

STORY
5
Pacing
6
Acting*
5
Provoking
6
Entertaining
6
 

DIETER NUHR: NUHR IN BERLIN

Comedy | TV-MA | 2016 | 1hr 8min ・ NETFLIX *

Whoever keeps insisting that Germans lack a sense of humor must be living under a rock. After we had proven that statement to be false after highlighting the wildly successful Look Who’s Back, we have another Netflix exclusive with one of Germany’s top comedians: Dieter Nuhr.

Dieter Nuhr: Nuhr in Berlin is a stand-up comedy special filmed solely for Netflix… something Nuhr makes a point of addressing on stage as he opens with some humorous stabs towards the American audience who must read this comedy special. If you aren’t fluent in the German language and find yourself having to read the jokes, do they still work? Yes. What may not work for the average American viewer is both the difference in comedic tone and the lack of a cultural understanding of his source material once his jokes shift away from America and onto his home turf.

In a scene that is often dominated by American comedians, this is an interesting move for Netflix as it shows jokes don’t all center around the United States. Nuhr’s style is a definite departure from the ‘norm’ and his hour-long set is not all filled with comedy. It is a close 50/50 split between traditional stand-up jokes and Nuhr’s personal commentary on hard-hitting issues, including religion, politics and the close-to-home debate on the million-plus refugees living in Germany.

You may not get every joke, but the views that Nuhr expresses will get you thinking at least, even if you don’t agree, and that is what tips the scales in favor of at least checking out Nuhr in Berlin. It may not deserve a spot at the top of your list, but you’ll want to watch it before the jokes become completely irrelevant.

* available on Netflix at the time of original broadcast on December 16, 2016

MOVIE SCORE

6.4

OUT OF 10

*For stand-up comedies, we base our “Acting” score on the comedian’s stage presence and ability to keep the audience engaged throughout the set.

STORY
6
Pacing
6
Acting*
7
Provoking
8
Entertaining
5