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Bye Bye Germany
Bye Germany takes
place post-war and focuses on the lives of several Holocaust
survivors who are trying to raise money to leave behind Germany and
enter the United States. It's actually a comedy-drama exploring the
characters turning point to try and live a better life again. The
film is from director Sam Garbarski (Vijay and I).
Bleitbreu) leads the way for the group attempting to leave
Germany. He has several ideas for how to raise the money to say
goodbye to Germany for good. Each individual ends up selling
overpriced linen. They essentially becomes "salespeople" and they
work to raise funds little by little.
also encounters an
American special agent named Sara Simon (Antje Traue).
begins to ask a number of questions about him. They begin having
conversations with one another while she works to unravel his past.
Will Bermann and his friends be able to move past tragedy to arrive
in America? Can they raise enough funds by selling linens?
is primarily comedic
in tone and attempts to be a uplifting comedy-drama about survivors
of the holocaust. This sets it apart from most films about this
period. It goes without saying that there are few films that are
comedies about holocaust survivors so this certainly makes this
film's approach unique.
feel a bit odd to
have a film centered around Jewish holocaust survivors which has a
comedic sensibility. However, the filmmaker's ideology is clearly
represented: comedy is the best medicine. Yet the serious events of
the Holocaust are not the focus here. It's a story about these
characters, brimming with life, as they try to continue to live to
music by Renaud
Garcia-Fons (Sperling) is light and whimsical. The
complimentary to the narrative drive. The cinematography by Virginie
Saint-Martin (Thomas in Love) gives the film a
colorful look (whereas most postwar movies related to the Holocaust
have more muted colors). The costume design by Nathalie Leborgne (Mr.
Nobody, The Treatment) feel fitting for
the characters and
screenplay was written by
Michael Bergmann (Otto: Der Katastrofenfilm) and Sam
Garbarski. Garbarski also directed. The story is one that takes an
unusual approach to a difficult time.
a well-meaning film
that aims to emphasis hope in dark times. The filmmakers goal was
clearly to put some humanity and hope into a postwar period. The
approach doesn't fully work but the goal of the director is genuine.
The film's focus upon the characters is something that makes the film
more rewarding in small ways. Bye
Bye Germany doesn't entirely work as a
comedy but the film has enough whimsy to see once.
Bye Germany is
presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio.
That's the best thing about this film's presentation.
It's a poor encode with rather aggravating macroblocking
and compression woes. There are many scenes with poor
compression artifacts that it really detracted from the viewing
experience significantly. Colors are often garbled looking. The
whole presentation looks messy and uneven. While the poor quality
encoding mainly affects background imagery, it's still
to the overall presentation.
audio is presented in
stereo 2.0 Dolby Digital or 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. Either
one of these sound mixes should suffice given the source material.
It's a somewhat flat and uninvolving sound mix even with the surround
sound presentation. There is little activity in the surrounds and
only some minor expansion of the score and the occasional sound
(3 min.) is a
short animated film which was inspired by the work of Israeli violin
maker Amnon, who worked tirelessly to restore violins from during
the Holocaust so that they could be played again to bring hope to the
other Film Movement releases.
Bye Germany is
about holocaust survivors. Yes, that is really how the genre would be
classified. No, that is not an error in the description.
Unfortunately, the film doesn't fully work but it's still a
worthwhile effort by director Garbarski. The story has a charming cast
of unique characters to make it worth checking out
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.