ZuckerThis is the story of two brothers separated as youngsters. One grows up to be a sports reporter and terrible gambler, the other an Orthodox Jew. Their mother’s death brings them together again after 40 years. The mother’s last wish is that both her sons get together, bury her and have a proper shiva or else neither gets their inheritance. Of course, all sorts of whacky hijinks and hilarity ensue.

So why is this noteworthy? Because it’s a German film and it kinda pokes fun at Jews (gasp!). But it’s ok, relax. Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker! click on link to see trailer) is supposed to be a good film – it’s up for a German Oscar (the aptly named Annual German Film Prize) despite having originally been made for TV.

Swiss born director Dani Levy, whose mother escaped Germany prior to the Holocaust, said about his film:

There’s a need to get over the guilt and shame that has kept Jewish life and Jewish people stuck in the 1940s in Germany today … People are grasping for a chance to overcome these feelings because no one likes them … It is possible to sit in a cinema and laugh at a comedy about Jewish people without feeling guilty.

The comments at IMDB are pretty interesting too. Ken from Luebeck, Germany stated:

Since the Shoah, there has been a perception among the majority of non-Jewish Germans that Jewish people in this country have to be treated with velvet gloves in every respect. This perception is strengthened further by the fact that due to the small number of Jewish communities in Germany, many non-Jewish Germans don’t know Jewish people personally, thus creating an abstract image of easily offended Jews who have to be treated with utmost political correctness.

mabuse786 added:

This movie is really great. I fully enjoyed it and it was fun and gives you an idea of what the Jewsish community would have added to German society if they would not have been killed during the Holocaust.

Oh those whacky, whacky Jews. With the German-Jewish community growing from 30,000 to 100,000 in the last 15 years, clearly it’s time for Jewish humor to rise again and blitzkreig the German people with a V2 Rocket laff-attack! But please, this time, no Der Sturmer Jew cartoons, ok Hans and Franz? Those were NOT funny.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

7 Comments

  • It’s simple: Germans are happy they’re allowed to laugh about Jews – full stop.
    Most German comedies and motion pictures in general have been extremely low-quality since they threw out all Jews from their movies industry. This isn’t different here – full of stale clichés.

  • As a german jew (living in Germany) I saw the movie (of course) – it is far more than the “jews in germany” thing. It is also about the two different ways judaism was seen in western-germany and eastern germany especially in the former german democratic republic. It is about german jews living under the communist regime and living within a democracy. But maybe these themes are too special for a not german audience… I have no idea…
    Guess, the germans in the movie theatre were not laughing about jews, they were laughing about funny situations. That is is an important difference, in particular in Germany….

  • I just checked out the trailer for this movie, and even though I couldn’t understand one word, it looks pretty funny. I’m looking for a version with English subtitles as we speak. It’s good to see Germans lightening-up about Jews. All the Germans I know go so far out of their ways to be accommodating to Jews they meet, and I wonder if they feel obliged to do so given their country’s past.

  • @Zucker Yepp. I am jewish and laughed about the film (mostly not about the same parts as the rest of the audience did, but I did). I guess it is one of few german movies with or about jewish characters who are not talking with a pseuso-yiddish accent….

  • Chajm: And it’s funny, right? I mean that’s the big deal apparently. Where in Germany do you live Chajm? How has the large influx of new Jews affected you? Just curious. When I was in Israel I met a birthright israel group from Germany. But they were all Russians! Heh …

  • I live in the western part of the country. The influx of jews from the CIS states prolongates the vanishing of the small jewish communities. The community of my hometown had about 20 members in the beginning of 1989 and now the community counts 400 members. Approx. 5 non-russian and 495 “new” members. So, you might imagine what kind of problems we are facing today… Recently the german government has stopped jewish immigration, reducing it to “useful jews” (as I called it) who already have a place to work an enough money to live in germany…

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