Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Jerichow is a bleak German love triangle.

Thomas, strong, silent, almost withdrawn and recently discharged from the army plays good Samaritan to Ali a portly, middle-aged Turkish-German businessman. Consequently Ali offers Thomas a job helping manage his chain of snack bars. Enabling Thomas to meet Laura, Ali's much younger, slim blonde wife.

With its lack of dialogue, actors and only necessary scenes this is a very economical film, which revolves around Ali. His outwardly cheerful and chatty persona carries the dialogue. His almost constant presence and occasional absence create the sexual tension between the would be lovers and fleeting opportunities to release it. A man who has made his fortune against the obstacles of racial discrimination, he is obsessive and suspicious, a serious opponent for Thomas and Laura's plans. We are not led to like Ali (or indeed Thomas or Laura either), but we are interested in their fate. Will Laura end up with Thomas or Ali, in fact why was she with Ali in the first place?

The plot has the feel of a Shakespearian Tragedy, trimmed of its fat and comedy. Fate has it in for someone, may be all of them, and it seems like nothing will stop it. If you like happy love stories then this isn't your film, but if you like tension and not knowing how things will end and you can handle characters who look like normal people living unglamorous lives then this might be your sort of film.

For a man who otherwise guards his privacy, counter intuitively Thomas never locks his front door.

Ian's rating 3/5

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