Bye Bye Germany

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Germany | 2017 | 101 minutes | Sam Garbarski

Moritz Bleibtreu stars as a smooth-talking salesman in postwar Frankfurt who barely survived the concentration camps and wants to leave for America but not before a tenacious U.S. special agent (Antje Traue) demands to know the details behind some of his questionable wartime activities.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

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Majestic Bay

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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Monday, May 29, 2017

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Lincoln Square

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At the end of the Third Reich, most surviving Jews from the Holocaust understandably left Germany as fast as possible. But former Sachsenhausen inmate David Bermann (Moritz Bleibtreu), among about 4,000 other real-life survivors who remained, sees his blasted homeland as the land of opportunity. He dreams of reopening his family's seized linen business in Frankfurt, but American forces deny him a license; with his haughty demeanor and fancy suit, David is suspected to be a Nazi collaborator by occupation forces and is subject to questioning by Special Agent Sara Simon (Antje Traue). Undaunted, he gathers a group of Jewish salesmen to help him peddle imported linens door-to-door, stressing that they never resort to stoking German guilt to seal the deal—they are to be legitimate businessmen, not victims. Director Sam Garbarski maintains the upbeat tone for most of the film, wringing sly humor from the absurdities faced by the salesmen, but memories of the horrors they each faced lie just under the surface; David's flashbacks to the camps reveal his survivor's guilt as his smooth-talking of the guards helped save him from the ovens while the rest of his family perished. Garbarski's adaptation of German-Swiss novelist Michel Bergmann's "Teilacher" trilogy is a tale of re-assimilation and rebirth, how maintaining a sense of humor is a vital step towards redemption.

Director Biography

German filmmaker Sam Garbarski has gained popularity both as a director and writer for films such as Rashevski's Tango (2003) and Vijay and I (2013). Bye Bye Germany is his fifth film directing and writing.

Sponsored by Seattle Malaria Clinical Trials Center

  • Original Language Title: Es war einmal in Deutschland
  • Director: Sam Garbarski
  • Principal Cast: Moritz Bleibtreu, Antje Traue, Tim Sey, Mark Ivanir, Anatole Taubman, Hans Low, Pal Macsai, Vaclav Jakoubek
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 101 minutes
  • Producer: Jani Thiltges
  • Screenplay: Michel Bergman
  • Cinematographers: Virginie Saint-Martin
  • Editors: Peter R. Adam
  • Music: Carlo Thoss
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Vijay and I (2013); Quartier lointain (2010); Irina Palm (2007); Rashevski’s Tango (2003)
  • Language: German
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Film Movement
  • International Sales: The Match Factory