29 March 2010 | Pippi_langstrumpf
"Who is the greater criminal: he who robs a bank or he who founds one?"
Mack the Knife asks in Brecht's Threepenny Opera, "Who is the greater criminal: he who robs a bank or he who founds one?" After the credit crunch and the ensuing economic crisis, we will definitely say, "It's the banker w****s, that's for sure." But are bankers happy? In this German film we see Frederik Feinermann, a banker in a rather small bank in Leipzig who has been rather successful in his job so far. Then, however, one of his clients who cannot pay back his loan shoots himself in front of Frederik. Just a few days later he bumps into Vince Holland, a former classmate of his, who now works in a hypermarket. When he learns that Vince was in prison, he is a bit shocked, but later Vince's criminal prowess proves rather useful for him.
At first Frederik breaks into his boss's house and needs Vince's help to finish what he has started, and then he thinks that they should also steal from his wealthy clients because he knows everything about their finances and also when they are on holiday.
So who is the greater criminal: the boss who does not understand that Frederik has suffered a trauma, or Frederik and Vince who start or resume a criminal career? This film raises several other questions as well: What matters in life? Is it more important to have a good job and a successful career, or should you spend more time with your friends and, if you have one, your partner? What makes you happy? This German "cityboy" does not start writing a column in "thelondonpaper", but he gradually turns into a rebel, trying to re-arrange his life and make up with his ex-girlfriend. It is, however, difficult to say whether this change makes him happy or whether he has simply lost his plot.
If you like films that are satirical and realistic at the same time (eg, Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei), this one is a must-see for you. It leaves a lot of questions open for discussion, so go and watch it with a friend and chat about it later in the evening.