Friday, August 04, 2017


Auf Wiedersehen, Pet brought us British tradies in Germany. Playing the situation for laughs. Western brings us German construction workers in Bulgaria played completely straight. In both cases lack knowledge of the other's language and customs brings the locals and construction workers into conflict.

also employs elliptical storytelling: brief, disconnected scenes, fragmentary dialog, no overall plot, camera angles that often look accidental. It requires the audience to work out what is happening (which mirrors the confusion and dislocation as the work gang get to know each other and as the work gang and the locals size each other up).

Eventually, the protagonists arise out of the mass of characters. The new digger driver (Meinhard) and his foreman on the German side and an entrepreneurial villager and a young woman who can speak a bit of German on the Bulgarian side. Arrogance, frustration, and machismo motivate the German workmen. Pride, jealousy, and machismo motivate the Bulgarians.

Some of the story fragments have a bit of tension and others contribute to Meinhard's growing relations with people he can't talk to. While I guess the elliptical storytelling style is intended to feel natural it actually feels contrived and usually unnecessary.

Ian's rating 2/5

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