27 February 2020 | mozhoven
The story follows the rise and fall of Francis (Welket Bungué), a refugee who tries to be a good man while earning a living in a wealthy country suppressing the options to do so. He is soon approached by a drug dealer (Albrecht Schuch) offering what seems to be a way out of his misery. Thus, the tragedy unfolds.
Burhan Qurbani's handwriting as a director has significantly improved over the course of his now three feature-length films. And now he has delivered a masterpiece. The film manages to combine elements of hyper-realism with poetic moments, strengthening each other's impact. The music is sometimes subtle, sometimes loud, and always on point. The actors' delivery is gripping and powerful. The story itself is an adaptation of Döblin's masterpiece novel of the same name. It is fittingly transferred into current day Berlin, and - while staying true to the novel's intent - it is told in a far more concise manner to suit its format.
I actually hate movies longer than 100 minutes, but due to its separation into 5 chapters Qurbani somehow managed to not annoy or bore me for a second.