I wanted from the beginnings of this blog to feature one of the most talented directors alive, who happens to be Turk. Fatih Akın is a Hamburger Turk, born in 1973. I have seen and enjoyed almost all his movies, even his fragments in the collective humanitarian releases, like New York, I Love You, or Visions of Europe. Soul Kitchen is a 2009 German movie, directed by Akin (you see, I started to use his European surname spelling, with “i” instead of the Turkish “ı”). The movie is also written by Fatih Akin together with his friend from Kurz und Schmerzlos (1998), Adam Bousdoukos. It is said that it’s based on Bousdoukos’ real experience with a restaurant he used to own. The movie is more comic than a comedy, it has a lot of spark, it’s almost total.
Contrary with my habits of not revealing from the story, this time I’ll make an exception. Bousdoukos, plays a Greek, “Zino”, having the great surname of “Kazantsakis”. He has a building he partly transformed in a restaurant with entertainment space and kitchen, and partly in a workshop rented to another Greek, “Sokrates”, played by Demir Gökgöl, and the location and clientele are in the industrial area of Hamburg. Beside that, he has a girlfriend, he loves dearly, and a brother in prison.
As you see in the first picture, his brother is played by Moritz Bleibtreu, the most distributed actor in Akin’s movies. I hope to review more of them soon. Anyway, Soul Kitchen is a perfect movie. Along a nice screenplay, the acting is remarkable. You remember maybe the guy from Gegen Die Wand (Head-On), the Golden Bear of Berlin winner in 2004, Birol Ünel? He is “Shayn”, a picturesque character in this movie too, he drinks and cooks using his iconic chef knife he treasures and carry on himself almost all time.
So, along with Bousdoukos, Ünel, Gökgöl and Bleibtreu, in this movie we meet also Pheline Roggan as Nadine Krüger, the girlfriend-lover-fiancee, Anna Bederke as Lucia Faust, the waitress, Dorka Gryllus as a physiotherapist and not only, Wotan Wilke Möhring as “Neumann”, a schoolmate and a pimp playing with Real Estate and Cem Akın, director’s brother, as a small time thief, Bleibtreu’s friend. Also, there are two more special appearances by Udo Kier, Uğur Yücel, this one as a very “special” physiotherapist, and Bleibtreu’s own mother, Monica Bleibtreu (who unfortunately died shortly after that by heart attack).
Soul Kitchen had its world premiere on 10 September 2009 at the 66th Venice Film Festival, is 99 minutes, and received 7.3 imdb rate out of ten with over twenty five thousands votes, definitively a must see. I’m going to dedicate a special post to Akin, who has a spark close to Tarantino, only European, and loves Jim Jarmusch and Scorsese a great deal.
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