Fate has taken its toll on the aging cabaret singer Ruth and the young but terminally ill Jonas. Yet despite their great age difference and their entirely opposite experiences in life, they...
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Katharina (Theresa Scholze) and Steffen (Max Riemelt) seem like the quintessential successful Berlin couple - they have well-paying jobs, a loving relationship and a spectacular apartment. ... See full summary »
Christian Moris Müller
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Fate has taken its toll on the aging cabaret singer Ruth and the young but terminally ill Jonas. Yet despite their great age difference and their entirely opposite experiences in life, they form an intense bond and give each other a reason and purpose to live.
The German film Auf das Leben! was shown in the U.S. with the title, To Life! (2014). It was directed by Uwe Janson.
Ruth (Hannelore Elsner) was a young girl when the Germans killed everyone around her. She was able to escape because of a fortuitous attack by partisans. We don't learn if she was eventually captured or remained hidden. However, after the war she had a successful career as a cabaret singer. (Sharon Brauner plays Ruth as a younger woman, and she's very good.)
Ruth is being forced to change apartments, and she hires a young man and his van to help with the move. Max Riemelt plays the young man, Jonas. An unlikely friendship arises between Ruth and Jonas. Although the friendship is predictable in the context of films like Harold and Maude, the outcome of the friendship isn't predictable.
This film is plot-driven, so I can't really say too much more about it. The acting is exceptional, the story is fascinating, and the movie held my interest throughout. We saw the film at the excellent Dryden Theatre in Rochester, NY as part of the phenomenal Rochester International Jewish Film Festival. It will work very well on the small screen. I recommend it.
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