International Film Forum: Almanya: Willkommen in Deutschland

16 January 2023

Almanya: Welcome to Germany [Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland] (Yasemin Şamdereli, 2011, Germany, 101 min.)

“A warm-hearted, nostalgia-tinged crowd-pleaser and also a manipulative, irresistible tear-jerker.” (Screen Daily)

It’s not easy “assimilating” comedy into a depiction of Europe’s troubled relations with its migrant workers. But that’s exactly what Almanya: Welcome to Germany does with the past and present of one Turkish-German family as they stumble through two countries to ask one question: “Who am I?” Forty-five years ago, Hüseyin came to Germany from Turkey as a Gastarbeiter (a guest worker). Now, as a full German citizen, he’s taking seven of his family members back to his home village and a life that his grandchildren can barely imagine. Meanwhile, Hüseyin’s grandson, Cenk, tries to do exactly that: imagine the absurd hurdles that his grandfather had to clear on the way to his new home, like an immigration official who insists on the importance of pork consumption. (Calgary International Film Festival)

poster for 1.16