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Feature film
Willkommen bei den Hartmanns (Welcome to Germany)

Willkommen bei den Hartmanns
Photo (detail): © Picture Tree International

Director: Simon Verhoeven | Cast: Senta Berger, Heiner Lauterbach, Florian David Fitz, Palina Rojinski, Elyas M’barek, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Ulrike Kriener, Eric Kabongo | Language: German, with English subtitles

A country like Germany, which from the outside seems stable and open, contains many difficult and moving stories about the integration process of hundreds of thousands of refugees, be it from the perspective of the refugees themselves or various German citizens. In the comedy Welcome to Germany, this sensitive topic is discussed in a refreshingly open and entertaining way. Based on story of the Hartmann family, we see the various problems that Germany is confronted with in the midst of its society, especially when it comes to the acceptance of refugees from African countries, particularly those associated with ISIS.
The story begins with Dr. Richard Hartmann (Heiner Lauterbach) and Angelika Hartmann (Senta Berger), who seem to go through a midlife crisis. In order to deny the process of aging, Richard refuses to retire; unlike his wife Angelika, who wisely accepts her age. Their life has become lonelier since their two children grew up and left the house. The couple’s daughter Sofie Hartmann (Palina Rojinski) always has problems with men and has not yet completed her studies. Philip Hartmann (Florian David Fitz), their son, is a workaholic who divorced his wife and now lives with his son Basti Hartmann, who is crazy about Hip Hop.
At a family dinner at home, Angelika announces that she wants to shelter an asylum-seeking refugee. The entire Hartmann family is alarmed – but while some try to resist, others are more accepting of her idea. Shortly afterwards, Diallo Makabouri (Eric Kabongo), a refugee from Nigeria, moves in and becomes part of the family.
This film shows how the Hartmann family deals with their personal problems. In addition, the film also succeeds show how Germany strives to solve the country’s problems in a smart and humorous way. Instead of getting involved in complicated and political matters and dealing with seemingly endless problems of pros and cons, director and scriptwriter Simon Verhoeven decides to focus on the fundamental problem – that every human being has the right to get a second chance to improve their life and to be accepted into a "family" or "home" just the way they are.
Born in Wonosobo, Central Java, Indonesia in 1985.

He studied traditional music and communication before falling in love with filmmaking. He is a self-taught filmmaker, alumni of the Berlinale Talent Campus in Germany and the Asian Film Academy in South Korea where he won the BFC & SHOCS Scholarship Fund. Since 2008, he has directed and produced ten short films, which have been highlighted in prestigious national and international film festivals, before making feature films. Another Trip to the Moon (2015), his first feature film, was nominated for the HIVOS-Tiger Award and the NETPAC Award of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015. His second feature The Crescent Moon (2015) was nominated for the Asian Future Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2015, and in seven categories, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director at the Indonesian Film Festival 2015, while Talak 3 (2016), a critically acclaimed film that was listed among the Top 15 of Indonesian box-office hits in 2016, was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Indonesian Film Festival 2016. The Carousel Never Stops Turning (2017) is his fourth feature film and was nominated for the Kim Ji-seok Award at the Busan International Film Festival 2017 and officially selected for the Tokyo International Film Festival 2017. His latest works include a short film entitled Woo Woo (or Those Silence That Kills You and Me) and his fifth feature film, a novel adaptation of Arini; both will be released in 2018.

He is a producer and the founder of Matta Cinema, a production house which focuses on producing audience and artistic films by working with unique and creative directors for global audiences. He is also a producer and founder of Bosan Berisik Lab, a non-profit inter-disciplinary laboratory that empowers young filmmakers and artists to create creative and experimental works. He is also one of the co-founders and a film programmer of Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival, a premiere film festival that highlights the development of Asian cinema and is screened annually in the cultural city Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
It all starts when Angelika Hartmann, a recently-retired teacher and mother of a bourgeois family plagued by everyday problems, decides one day to take in a refugee. Angelika is lonely now that her children have left home. Her husband, a senior doctor at a hospital, does everything he can to halt the ageing process. Son Philip shuttles between Shanghai and Munich on business, which has a rather negative impact on his relationship with his son Basti, while daughter Sophie still doesn’t know what she wants at the age of 31. Typical family madness, in other words, into which Diallo from Nigeria is plunged – and who in his own way considerably shakes up the life of the Hartmanns. This is a turbulent report of life in an almost normal country where everyone is somewhat confused.

A light-hearted, entertaining yet at times profound film about Germany today.
07.10.2018 | 7 PM | Goethe-Haus
07.10.2018 | 4.45 PM | Level 21 XXI
14.10.2018 | 4.45 PM | Ciwalk XXI
14.10.2018 | 4.45 PM | Nipah XXI
21.10.2018 | 4.45 PM | Empire XXI
21.10.2018 | 4.45 PM | Sutos XXI

Simon Verhoeven, born 1972 in Munich, graduating with a BA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. After a few shorts and music videos, Simon Verhoeven directed his first feature film 100 Pro (2001). After the enormous success of Men in the City (Männerherzen, 2009), he directed Men in the City 2 (Männerherzen … und die ganz ganz große Liebe, 2011), his third feature based on one of his own screenplays. Men in the City received the 2010 Jupiter Award for Best Film and the Bavarian Film Award for Best Screenplay.

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