Opening June 25, 2015
Directed by: Ulrike Grote
Writing credits: Ulrike Grote
Principle actors: Natalie Wörner, Karoline Eichhorn, Julia Nachtmann, Christian Patzold, Franziska Küpferle, Stephan Schad, Hans Löw, Ulrich Gebauer, Gary Smith, Sabine Hahn
The original film with the same title was so successful with 500,000 viewers that we are treated to a sequel with many of the original actors. Once again we go to an area in southern Germany called Schwaben where inhabitants speak a special German dialect called schwäbisch. Typical characteristics of these people are skepticism, and thrift, wariness and just plain stubbornness. Two neighboring villages are Oberrieslinger and Unterrieslinger, connected by relationships between the Häberle and the Rossbauer families. The residents find little reason to like each other, in spite of being related. Still the day comes, when they must cooperate. The roof of the church (which they built in the original film) has collapsed onto the head of Pastor Schäuble. The church repair money has disappeared and the bank is not open to another loan. An idea soon makes the rounds: why not compete in the annual band competition in Hamburg? The church choir joins forces with a hippie rock band. They practice a bit and take off by bus to the Fischköpfe (fish heads – their words for Hamburg residents).
The title (translated to “the church stays in the village) originates from an old German saying similar to “keep both feet on the ground.” An example of schwäbisch is Ond’s Geld, was d‘Rieslinger gsammelt khett hend, hot dr durschtige Oberhirde vrsoffa“, or high German: Und das Geld, das die Rieslinger gesammelt haben, hat der durstige Oberhirte einfach versoffen, or in English “and the money, that the people from Rieslinger had collected, was drowned in alcohol by the thirsty bishop.“ I think I understood 70% of the words, although it’s easy to follow the story even if you don’t recognize the actual text.
As a non-German I was especially interested in the Hamburg scenes. (The Filmförderung Hamburg-Schleswig-Holstein contributed to the finances, which means that parts must be filmed in this area.) I would have loved to have watched the filming near Dammtor train station in the CCH Hotel underpass. My colleagues said, “Why do directors always have to film the Köhlbrandbrücke? There are lots more ways to come into Hamburg.” Naturally, the Köhlbrandbrücke is the most picturesque. Although all of the German actors were excellent and we can certainly expect them to return, I would like to introduce Dr. Gary Francis Smith. Dr. Smith is the spitting image of Robert Redford and has been his double in past films. He is 51 years old, from California, works as a model and acts in US series. In Täterätää 1 and 2, he plays Howie, the American husband of Christine, and speaks English (“absolutely,” “sorry,” “promise,” and “hi dear”) the whole time. Also a salute to Jörn Kux for the excellent music. ( )