© Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH

Happy Burnout
Germany 2017

Opening 27 Apr 2017

Directed by: André Erkau
Writing credits: Gernot Gricksch, Michael Eckelt
Principal actors: Kostja Ullmann, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Marleen Lohse, Torben Liebrecht, Michael Wittenborn

Andreas Poschka (Möhring), better known as Fussel, lives in a small, messy apartment in Hamburg. Although already 43 years old, he resists work and responsibility (which results in him losing contact with his young daughter). The German financial support Harz IV is his idea of “work”; he just needs to convince his social worker Frau Linde (Victoria Trauttmansdorff) to continue the payments, something she finds hard to do, considering that he does not adhere to the regulations associated with this type of support. However, she truly delights in his presence, and arranges for him to go to a sanatorium – diagnosis: burnout. His caretaker there, Alexandra (Anke Engelke), has difficulties getting this skinny punk with the longish red hair to settle in with his roommate Günther (Wittenborn). Gradually he meets other patients such as Datty (Ullmann), a puppeteer, Anatol (Torben Liebrecht), a real estate agent, and Merle (Julia Koschitz), mother of four. The head of the clinic, Dr. Gunst (Ulrike Krumbiegel) realizes that Fussel’s problems are not due to burnout; she also recognizes his potential to help others and makes a deal, or as Fussel says, “What! I’m supposed to be an undercover therapist?”

The film features some of Germany’s most talented actors at the moment. You will recognize them from other films, from television, and also from theater. Three of the actors have had experience in three of Hamburg’s main theaters. That, alone, is a recommendation. It is also gives room for thought about maturity and responsibility. Woton Wilke Möhring is wonderful. As he said,” I used to be a punk myself when growing up. In this role I could go back to myself 30 years ago when I wore combat boots and tight jeans and had a Mohawk hair-do.” He should stick to these roles – much better than his character as detective in the “Tatort” TV series. Filmed in Schloss Körtlinghausen in Nordrhein Westfalen and Hamburg‘s Schanzenviertel. (Becky Tan)

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