© Warner Bros./X Verleih

Germany 2006

Opening 23 Nov 2006

Directed by: Sebastian Steinbichler
Writing credits: Martin Rauhaus, Sebastian Steinbichler
Principal actors: Josef Bierbichler, Sibel Kekilli, Hanna Schygulla, Phillipp Hochmair, Anna Schudt

Franz (Josef Bierbuchler) receives a spam email which promises great riches. Someone in Kenya expects a huge sum of money and will share it with an investor, who, in return, must guarantee security for a bank account and deposit a few thousand in it. Franz should have enough life experiences to recognize a scam, but his own bankruptcy leads to desperation. He hires Leyla (Sibel Kekillli) to translate for him in English. The deal backfires. His beautiful wife Martha (Hanna Schygulla) stands by him but can help very little because she is blind. He disrespects his grown children who dare to advise him. Franz, showing some of the stubborn spirit of younger days, books a flight to Africa to search for The Man in order to retrieve his money. Leyla accompanies him. In the end he makes an unfortunate, unnecessary decision, but his heirs will be happy. Viewers, who appreciate the talents of Bierbuchler, a well-known and experienced German actor, will be happy to see him back on screen. The same goes for fans of Kekilli, of Head On fame. Whether the overall result of the film is satisfactory is questionable. Although the scenery is beautiful, the symbolism, e.g., snow, Schubert’s “Winterreise” song, a blind old African, a vanished village, a lonely wife, etc, misses the mark leaving the film with little to make it worthwhile. (Becky Tan)

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