This 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.
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.