Among the German gangsters is Kida Khodr Ramadan the melancholy. Lids, cheeks, stomach, everything hangs down, heavy with earth. His Toni Hamady, godfather in the clan epic 4 blocks, kills if need be, but he doesn’t enjoy it. He would much prefer middle-class retirement, even if he has to vacuum clean it from time to time. The usual hopeless dropout dreams.
But against Ramadan’s youngest heroes, Toni Hamady is nothing short of a hop. At the beginning of “In Berlin no orange tree grows”, the camera lingers for an eternity on Nabil Ibrahim’s extinguished face (Ramadan). On the other hand, Nabil has every reason to be in a bad mood. He has been in jail for 15 years for a murder he did not commit. He also has terminal cancer.
Emma Drogunova has enough hunger for life for all of Berlin’s tired gangsters
So he does what he has to do, which is to sort out the last few things, let himself be dismissed for humanitarian reasons, visits his ex-wife Cora (played down realistically by the great Anna Schudt) and discovers that he has a daughter. Juju (Emma Drogunova) plays the cello, smokes and understands the new acquaintance quite correctly as a ticket from the Brandenburg dreariness in which she languishes. Now all Nabil has to do is take the money he owes his former buddy Ivo, plus one or two miracles, and the happy little family packs the orange tree in the car and heads to Beirut in the sun.
Much of this film is not round. The twists and turns of the plot would carry a cartoon character out of the curve, the rapprochement between father and daughter alone has an almost meteoric pace. And sentimental wisdom from Lebanese Späti sellers can no longer be heard either.
Nevertheless, this dirty little Kiez study (camera: Ngo The Chau) is a lot of fun, if only because it has an all-star ensemble with Stipe Erceg, Tom Schilling, Frederick Lau and Thorsten Merten, which has the vulgar wit of the dialogues presented with great nonchalance. When Thorsten Merten is photographed as a prison guard with Nabil when he is released, he comments subtly: “He was my longest.” And Emma Drogunova has enough hunger for life for all of Berlin’s tired gangsters. When the newly discovered father suddenly shows tradition and possession reflexes and scares away her boyfriend, she snaps at him: “Honor and pride? Are you kidding me?”
Kida Khodr Ramadan also directed “In Berlin No Orange Trees Grow”. Perhaps it is because under the rose water scent of the father-daughter snout you can feel a realism and a harshness that the street knows. Encounters with bitchy Brandenburgers are part of it, who think of Bayreuth and then pickpockets when they hear “Beirut”, but also the lies of their own neighborhood accomplices with their brother-here-brother-there talk.
You don’t see all of this often and rarely in such a dryly realistic way in public law. “No orange tree grows in Berlin” is a film with dirt under its nails. Festivals should set up a special rate for this property.
In Berlin no orange tree grows in the ARD media library