Index – Culture – You deserve more than a bed and a buttered bread

The strongest movie of Berlin, Alexanderplatz, a young German forty-year-old German filmmaker Burhan Quarbani, not yet very well known to us, can only be recommended to those with strong nerves, and even they do not come out stronger, more courageous, more cynical or relieved.

Anyone who may have seen the adaptation of the Katona József Theater from Alfred Döblin’s novel was a light summer heatwave, and apparently many are familiar with Fassbinder’s fifteen-part series of the novel, however, no preparation or prior knowledge. to the vicissitudes of inclusion, to the hardness of the work: the present work

it is even coarser in its realization, in its message, and in its final ring.

There is a lot of refugee film, contemporary misery film, underworld film – the former with their lyrical works are particularly prominent – Berlin, Alexanderplatz are all together, but from now on it is also a film of hatred: the power of hatred, self-deception, and in some way is also his film. Franz, or Francis, the African refugee protagonist (Welket Bunguê), of course, is not attracted to death by some mental illness or predisposition, but because when he arrived in Europe, everyone except him perished, lost at sea. He saw his comrades die, their wrestling, drowning, and then sinking, until he could escape by some miracle.

With this image, the movie opens. But because Francis saw death up close, engraved in his retina, cerebral cortex, and under his skin, in every important moment of his life, the struggle with water, his death at sea, comes up in intense images. When you are happy, when you are unhappy, making love or being highlighted during big moments. In the meantime, obviously, almost always by itself, the question automatically arises in him: why me, why exactly did I survive, I have to start something with that. And Francis wants to start by surviving, that then he will be a good person from now on.

Here are wolf laws, in the world of work, in the labor market, because of your skin color, your African nature and your demolition, you always occupy the bottom of the rankings, work black, do not report, do not have insurance, so you can’t even call an ambulance with impunity, and you you are also lousy if you do so against your unfortunate companion. Entire business, social strata, chains and industries are built on refugee and miserable people, if not you are involved in it, then you participate in the next. (Of course, that doesn’t matter.)

Although Franz, who becomes “German” during his special integration in Germany with long work, mostly by defeating and destroying himself, becomes a citizen with a flat, a German car, a job, sooner or later a passport, a German woman, no matter how much he advertises to the newly arrived refugees from the second part of the film. that Ich bin Deutschland does not believe this for a moment.

Refugee or worker accommodation symbolizes a returning destiny in Francis’ life, he was also tried to be scouted here as a drug dealer, and although he did not want to be one at all, he will be the drug dealer recruiting the update by the end of the film. In the meantime, there are so many others, burglars, pimps, but let’s not run so far ahead.

Franz is discovered by Reinhold, the drug dealer (Albrecht Schuch), in the same workers’ hostel, and Franz, who still lives as Francis at the time, does not listen at all to the word that “they deserved more than a bed and a buttered bread, a decent, normal life.” He already has a job, he doesn’t want to be a drug dealer. He works in a plant, does rock-hard physical work, but is humane, calling an ambulance to one of his injured co-workers for being fired by the department head. The co-worker was not reported, he brings trouble to them. In vain does Francis want to be good, to remain a normal person, he simply fails to do so. He’s fired for being good with his fellow man, but he needs work.

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He doesn’t undertake drug dealership at first, although he will be a member of the gang, but for now, he reassures himself that he’s just cooking for the others, in exchange for living with Reinhold, the gang leader dealer. He thinks he can stay out of the box with mere cooking, he can stay untouched. But once you have to jump in instead of a falling link, and that once you start an avalanche. He doesn’t do it for the money, more because he’s addicted to the seemingly uplifting but actually extreme exploitative, alcohol and drug addict, severely psychic case, and fundamentally moral insanity Reinhold, he doesn’t notice what he’s doing with him, he sees his friend, his savior in it. In fact, Reinhold also clings to him in a monkey way, but he keeps him addicted, and it would never be an equal relationship if he himself were not dependent on Francis.


From drug dealing, Francis gets involved in prostitution, from cyber to bucket, losing half his arm because Reinhold throws him out of the car, wants to kill him in revenge, in his jealousy. This is when she meets Mieze, a beautiful, destiny-worthy prostitute (Jella Haase) who cares for her, who lives the same miserable life elsewhere, selling herself for thousands of euros to all sorts of wealthy, underworld businessmen. There is a strange relationship between the two of them, it seems Franz may start a new life, but he cannot forget Reinhold, to whom he is attached even after losing his arm, as we know these attachments from these sick relationships. The point is, Reinhold can’t stand a third, they’ll meet again, he wants to get to know Mieze. He envies Franz for his love, he just cuts his hair, gets it, and then discards the women in disgust, that’s also his illness. He had never experienced love before, and although he wouldn’t be able to, he knows, he feels, it’s something he won’t have a part in and can’t process. He wants to separate the party, even though Franz and Mieze are already trying to take their past lives, trying to save each other, and Mieze is pregnant.

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The biggest mistake of the film is that this story is too long, it can be told a lot in two instead of three hours and much more tightly, with fewer bar and depravity scenes – we understand vulnerability, addiction, the underworld without these long scenes. And perhaps his greatest virtue, beyond the acting of the three protagonists, is the way the director portrays an ambivalent, sickly love-hate relationship in all tastes, a relationship of dependence between two men, two friends in quotation marks with a sick man, and a true, good, but yet, due to circumstances, the depravity is a recurring one, which is why it never reconciles itself with the other, and with the constant rapprochement of the two of them. In addition to the social image, the film depicts the relationship between two otherwise ill people with and without you, with Albrecht Schuch playing Reinhold receiving the Lola Award, also known as the German Oscar, for his portrayal, but Welket Bunguê playing Francis would also deserve an award.

In any case, we get a whole new picture of Berlin, and I can only hope for one that was painted one darker than reality in the film. Because if you don’t, it’s unbearable.