This warm family dramedy looks at the story of one Turkish family that emigrated to Germany as guest workers in the 1960s. Patriarch Huseyin (Vedat Erincin) is at a ripe old age, and he announces that he’s bought a house back in his hometown in Anatolia and expects his three sons, his daughter and their grandchildren to accompany him on a summer holiday there. The film is told half in flashback — as granddaughter Canan (Aylin Tezel) recalls how Huseyin left for Germany in the ’60s — and half in the present day, as the family road trip commences in a big van with several dramas playing out, not least of which is Canan’s concealed pregnancy.
|Rating||out of 5|
|Language||German, Turkish (subtitled in Japanese)|
|Opens||Opens Nov. 30, 2013|
“Almanya” is definitely the immigrant experience rendered for bourgeois tastes. Where another Turkish-German director such as Fatih Akin (“Head-On”) might focus on the wrenching personal drama of cross-cultural identity — Muslim conservatism and social pressure vs. secular freedoms and chaos — here Yasemin Samdereli faces the same issues with a smile and a hug, the clash of separate cultures subsumed by their mutability. There’s certainly room for both views, and while I prefer Akin’s sturm und drang, “Almanya” is certainly well-observed. If it’s a little cloyingly sentimental, it’s also so good-natured that it’s hard not to like. (G.F.)