Movie reflection:Almanya–Welcome to Germany

  Almanya – Welcome to Germany is a 2011 German comedy movie, the main plot is that the Turks Hüseyin emigrates to Germany alone and hard works, just for sending more money to his wife and children. For children’s education, Hüseyin takes his wife, Fatma, and three children, Veli, Muhamed, and Leyla to Germany. Forty-five years later, the old Hüseyin suddenly tell his family that they are going back to Turkey for a short trip because he bought a house in Turkey. No one knows that this trip will be unforgettable for this family.

  As the posterity of immigrant family, Hüseyin’s grandchildren meet many perplexities of racial identity in the life. When teacher ask students to post the flag on the map where their parents come from, Cenk, Hüseyin’s grandson, has to put the flag on the whiteboard, outside of the map because that map is Europe map. In addition, Cenk is forced to choose between Germany and Turkey team in the soccer game. And when he asks “Are we German or Turks?” confusedly to his family in lunch time, he gets two answer from them. To resolve his doubts, Canan, Hüseyin’s granddaughter, starts telling Hüseyin’s family story.

  We always have the wrong impression or stereotype to an unknown country; in this film has no exception. For example, Muhamed, Hüseyin’s second son, before he comes to Germany, the impression of Germany in his young brain is that there is numberless Coca-cola everywhere and German religion is so weird, they worship the naked man hanging on the cross and they eat his meat, drink his blood (Eucharist) in the church every Sunday. Even Fatma’s sister also mistaken that Germany only has potato and nothing food else. After they arrived Germany, they have a big culture shock because everything is different with their hometown, every experience are so fresh and amazing. The German men don’t keep beards on their face, the German let the pet sleep with them (“Omnipotent Allah, please bless us” Fatma prays), the most interesting part for me is that Fatma points at the commode and asks why German put a chair in the toilet (“They put their butts on that circle?” Fatma says). The other interesting part in the movie is that Hüseyin’s family actually meets the culture shock twice, the first time is when they came to German, and the second time is when they take a trip to Turkey, they have the “culture shock” to their hometown because they have leaved there thirty years, now Germany is more like hometown than their real hometown. For example, Ali, Hüseyin’s youngest son, burn in German and never set foot on the land of Turkey before this trip; he totally can’t adapt the food in Turkey. Hüseyin’s family didn’t be used to the toilet before, but they don’t be used to the toilet in Turkey after be used to the German modern toilet.

  So what’s different between these two culture shocks? According to the textbook, there are some conditions will affect how people adjust to a new culture. Motivation, length of stay, and age, at the first culture shock, the motivation of Hüseyin’s family is working and education, they plan to stay in Germany forever and the ages of his children are very young. But in the second time, motivation of them is taking a trip, length of stay is just few days and the ages of children are all very mature.

    In the movie, we can also see the ways to adjust to culture shock; one of them is open your heart. When Fatma complains that she can’t speak German, Hüseyin responds “Just learn it, I can’t speak German at first”.

The big turning plot in the movie is the death of old Hüseyin, after that, the atmosphere of movie starts from happy into serious. The contradictions and conflicts of personal and family begin to emerge. But there also is some warm affection, after Muhamed has a big quarrel with Veli, he still let Veli whose key is lost sleep with him on one bed, just the same as when they were young. The other contradiction plot is they find out that they can’t bury Hüseyin’s remain in the cemetery for Turks because he has the German passport, so they hold the funeral in Hüseyin’s hometown.

At the last, they arrival the house Hüseyin buys, but that “house” only have one door and one wall. They don’t understand what happen, but they all laugh. Maybe this is what old Hüseyin really buys, the family emotion. Muhamed decides to stay in Turkey and build that house. Muhamed this character is very interesting, he thought Germany is the best when he was young. But after he grows up and unemployment, he decides to stay in his hometown. His “German Dream” might be shattered, but he finds out his target in Turkey.

  At the end of the movie, Cenk bring the Turkey map and post it next to the Europe map. He finally can post the flag on the map.