What to do in case of Fire? (4 Stars).

I am excited to review my first German film…and it turns out to be a very good film. However, that is not saying much really, because with German cinema, I am yet to find a bad film. German film production is much smaller than America’s Hollywood so they tend to be more selective in what they produce, producing less films, but films that are of very good quality.

What to do in case of fire? is a 2001 film set both in 1987 and a present day. In 1987, six anarchist radicals make a documentary movie about making a bomb, which they then place in abandoned house. However, the timer sticks and the bomb never goes off.

That is until 2001, when the bomb is disturbed by a real estate agent and a potential power. This is when the police raid Tim (Til Schweiger) and Hotte’s (Martin Feifel) squat and confiscate the film showing the anarchistic group making the bomb. The group reunite in order to try and save themselves from a possible conviction. Only in the 12 years since they planted the bomb, the four other members of the group have radically changed. Nele (Nadja Uhl) is a now a single mother, ‘Terror’ is now a attorney, Maik (Sebastian Blomberg) runs an advertising agency that exploits radical imagery and Flo (Doris Schretzmayer), Tim’s ex girlfriend is now the epitome of a rich bourgeois life, and everything that the group once stood against.

Are the group able to set aside their differences and reunited their former friendship to attempt to save themselves? How exactly can you break into a Police Barracks, that was once a Military Barracks and where they store the evidence in the Basement? Will they be able to come together and save themselves before the Police narrow in and arrest them? Well I guess you’ll have to watch it and find out.

The subtitles I watched with this film were interesting, sometimes they would not translate fully some of the swearing, censoring it in a way…and sometimes the pace was so fast it would cut down the translation to the bare minimum.

I like this film. It poses the questions of how your teenage years define you life and whether people keep the same convictions they have always had or just grow up and become adults; conforming to a capitalist market.


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