© farbfilm/24 Bilder

Pommes Essen
Germany 2012

Opening 12 Jul 2012

Directed by: Tina von Traben
Writing credits: Tina von Traben, Rüdiger Bertram
Principal actors: Luise Risch, Marlene Risch, Tabea Willemsen, Anneke Kim Sarnau, Thekla Carola Wied

Frieda runs a typical German currywurst sausage and French fries stand in Duisburg. The golden days of financial success enjoyed by her deceased father, who established the business, have faded. Life is too hard for Frieda, and she takes the typical German “out” and has her physician send her to a sanatorium for a rest (or as the Germans say: a Kur). What to do? The oldest daughter Patty is more interested in becoming a five-star cook and practices in an expensive restaurant (with a well-known German TV cook, Stefan Marqard). The younger daughters, Lilo and Selma – actually still children, try to keep the sausages roasting, which ends dramatically when the snack bar burns to the ground. Often things have to reach rock bottom before they can get better, and so it is in this story. Patty rises to the challenge, and with the help of friend Besjana (Thekla Carola Wied) and Lilo and Selma, the four of them build a new stand, even better than the first. Full of pride and energy, they agree to compete for the job of serving hungry sports fans in front of the new Duisburg soccer stadium. The biggest competitor is their own uncle Walther, who rules over Pommes King, a huge chain of fast-food restaurants. The only thing preventing Walther from perfection is the curry sauce recipe which his sister inherited from their father.

Tina von Traben has directed a nice little family story, her first feature film, about recognizing important things in life and going forward and eating French fries (the literal translation of the title). Filmed on location in Duisburg and Cologne. The daughters are Luise Risch, Marlene Risch and Tabea Willemsen. Perhaps most interesting is that a famous German rapper named Smudo of the Fantstischen Vier plays Walther – his first film role. Pommes Essen opened in a children’s film festival, although adults might like it even better than children, with such sentences as “Wakey, wakey fuckers; unsere Gäste haben hunger.” It will definitely encourage family dinners with everyone sitting at the table together. (Becky Tan)

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