Die Schwarzen Brüder - not a film to miss

— by Parmita Borah | Bangalore
Die Schwarzen Brüder (The Black Brothers)
Ruby O. Fee and Fynn Henkel in Die Schwarzen Brüder (The Black Brothers)
If you thought that Bangalore is all about IT industry, malls, and breweries think again. Well, at least that was my long held perception, and I was compelled to think again. Of the many things that resonate from Bangalore, storytelling seems to be making big waves off late. Be it theater, creative writing, or cinema, the stories being told are diverse and intriguing. A cinephile by nature, I often find myself weaseling into every opportunity to watch films. My frequent trip to multiplexes cost me half of my salary, so I am in a constant pursuit of other venues (psst... which has helped me discover many movie streaming sites), and one such quest led to Goethe Insitut, Bangalore. The occasion – Swiss Film Festival. The film - Die Schwarzen Brüder (The Black Brothers).

A scene from Die Schwarzen Brüder (The Black Brothers)
A scene from Die Schwarzen Brüder (The Black Brothers)
Based on the classic book for young adults, The Black Brothers by Kurt Held and Lisa Tetzner, this coming of age German film follows the journey of Giorgio from being a trafficked child to attaining manhood. Young Giorgio is sold off to a child trafficker so that his father can raise money to treat his ailing mother. Giorgio leaves his countryside home to be hired as a chimney sweep in the city. Overnight the child inside him dies as a new life infested with soot, merciless owners, and bullies takes over. Giorgio’s undying spirit however carries him through and helps him make friends along the way. Pitied against the dark chimneys, Giorgio dreams of returning home. Will he manage to battle against all odds and be with his loved ones again?

A scene from Die Schwarzen Brüder (The Black Brothers)
Die Schwarzen Brüder (The Black Brothers)
Mildly reminiscent of Oliver Twist, the story kicks off with a depressive start but becomes more and more inspiring with the growth of Giorgio’s character. With every passing day, Giorgio discovers secrets, knowledge, strength, and most importantly great friends, which makes the story quite the adventure. It’s an adventure with invigorating ups and terrible downs. Fynn Henkel as Giorgio is effortless and natural, and so is the rest of the cast. There aren’t many dramatic twists and turn. It’s a simple story told in a sensible manner. The cinematography is something to look out for, particularly the last scene – it’s breathtaking.

Aptly named The Black Brothers, this movie is a must watch for children, and for those who are children at their hearts.
Directed by Xavier Koller
Music by Georgij Modestov
Based on the novel by Lisa Tetzner and Kurt Held
Produced By Fritjof Hohagen and Clarens Grollmann
Written by Fritjof Hohagen (screenplay) and Klaus Richter (screenplay)
Cast - Fynn Henkel (Giorgio), Moritz Bleibtreu (Antonio Luini), Waldemar Kobus (Battista Rossi), Ruby O. Fee (Angeletta), Ciro de Chiara (Meister Spitzbart)