15 October 2006 | dicto_x_paradise
One of the best "slice of life" movies I've seen
Set in the newly reunified Berlin of the 90's, "Life is All You Get" (english title)is one of those really excellent movies that tell a story of not only some interesting people, but of the time & place in which they live. Jan is struggling to get by, working in a slaughterhouse, staying with his sister, her smart & funny little girl, and her lout of a husband. A series of major upsets impacts his life: His ex-girlfriend tells him she's got AIDS, his father dies face down in a plate of ravioli, and, while accidentally caught up in a street riot, Jan knocks down a couple of guys chasing a woman (named Vera) - not knowing that they're plain-clothes cops trying to arrest her. He loses his job at this time, too, and faces a nearly impossible task of paying the heavy fine for assaulting the cops. On the bright side, he and Vera begin a relationship - haltingly, and (for him) clumsily - as they negotiate life in a city experiencing the very awkward transition between two political worlds. The characters & situations beautifully straddle the line between the wholly believable and the hysterically quirky. It's really a shame that this film didn't get an official U.S. release - it's well worth your time.