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Proof that Germans can be funny!

Proof that Germans can be funny!

ISLAMABAD: ‘FackJuGöhte’, a comedy, was screened at the German Embassy’s Auditorium on Thursday. The film from 2013 drew a crowd of foreigners and Pakistanis alike.

Kai Müller-Berner from the German embassy welcomed guests, saying, “Germans are not known for their sense of humour and my colleagues say it is either because we have none, or our humour does not translate well.”

He added, “German comedies are often about laughing at ourselves, which makes sense when we have such a heavy history. This comedy is a comment on the school system in less affluent areas.”

But the movie swiftly demonstrated that German humour translates beautifully as the audience was in stitches through much of the film. Telling the story of the redemption of a criminal, Zeki Müller, who takes a job at a secondary school because his friend buried his stolen loot on a construction site in the school yard. When he goes to recover the money after serving a 13-month sentence, construction has been completed and a school gymnasium stands between him and his loot.

He then applies for a janitorial position, but ends up as a substitute teacher. Zeki has a simple plan: to teach nothing, coast through classes while spending his evenings digging a tunnel underneath the gym until he reaches the money. In the process, however, he gets saddled with the worst class in the school: full of thugs, troublemakers and delinquents. He also has nowhere to live and ends up, through machinations and chance, renting a space from Elisabeth Schnabelstedt, a fellow teacher who is also enamored with him.As a comedy should, the movie ends with the students realising the importance of a good education, Zeki finding the stolen money but choosing to work at the school instead of abandoning it and his kids and Zeki and Elisabeth getting together. Unrealistic, certainly. But thoroughly entertaining!—SSK

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2016

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