Fatih Akin is one of my heroes. He’s one of the foremost German filmmakers today, the director of Soul Kitchen and Im Juli, as well as a segment of New York, I Love You. He’s also the screenwriter of one of my fav films, Kebab Connection. Watch the clip below to see why:
Update: The original video I posted got removed from YouTube. Lame. Here’s the trailer, instead.
Here’s the synopsis: young Ibo, a Hamburger of Turkish descent, aspires to make the first German kung-fu film. Meanwhile, his girlfriend gets pregnant. Comedy ensues.
There are SO MANY reasons to include this film in your German classes. For one, the role of Turks in Germany is a hot topic issue, and this is a good way to get students to start discussing immigration issues both in Germany and in the states, as well as other German current events. For another, the exploration of fine German cuisine, the omnipresent Döner (I’m drooling just thinking about it). Or even still, listening to real German helps students with their Hörverstehen skills and expands their vocabulary. Which is why, you know, we teach German. Right?
On that front, we once again have our friends at the Goethe Institute helping us out with some supplementary materials to the film (PDF). For the benefit of the teacher, the Filmrucksack includes a full synopsis, character lists, and a scene-by-scene breakdown that correlates with the DVD chapter titles. For the student, there are worksheets! Oh, so many worksheets! There’s sentence completion, multiple choice, transcriptions… You name it. It’s there. For every scene. Goethe Institute, you can do no wrong.
This packet can easily be adapted into a full unit, so students can enjoy the full film without wasting class time.
But the real reason to use this film in your German classes? It’s just so derned funny!
For similar pedagogical takes on other German films, see here. Lola rennt is a classic, Good-bye, Lenin is great for discussing East/West goings-on, and Sophie Scholl: die letzten Tage I would recommend for older students. Because the ending is kinda disturbing, frankly.