© Universum/DCM

Simpel (My Brother Simple)
Germany 2017

Opening 9 Nov 2017

Directed by: Nicolas Wackerbarth
Writing credits: Nicolas Wackerbarth, Dirk Ahner
Principal actors: David Kross, Frederick Lau, Emilia Schuele, Devid Striesow

Ben (Lau), a young man in his twenties, has no permanent job but is fully occupied with looking after his mentally handicapped brother Barnabas ( Kross) and their bedridden mother. The father (Striesow) has left the family to live in Hamburg and they have not seen him for 15 years. Life gets really complicated when their mother dies. Barnabas, called Simple, must go to a home as requested by his father. Ben argues and pleads to let him take care of his brother but to no avail. When a police officer and the head of the institution arrive, Ben flips out, attacks the officer, steals the police car and takes off with his brother, fleeing from the authorities. Simple thinks, this is great fun - but where should they go to? Ben suddenly decides to look for their father in the big city.

During the road trip the two bump into various quirky characters and experience strange situations. The 22-year old Simple has the mind of a child with its trust and naiveté. He befriends a prostitute (Annette Frier) openly admiring her “expensive boobs“ and playing hide-and-seek in the brothel when Ben has to leave him on his own for an hour. They have no money and a friendly truck driver helps out. Aria (Schule), a young nurse, touched by Simple’s vulnerability and honesty offers them shelter for a few nights.

The director Markus Goller wrote the script together with Dirk Ahne (inspired by Marie-Aude Murail’s book). David Kross (Der Vorleser) and Frederick Lau (Die Welle) handle their characters with much feeling, respect and without sentimentality, showing the unconditional love and closeness of two brothers against the rest of the world. An entertaining film with a good balance of tragic and comic situations.  (Birgit Schrumpf)

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