© Majestic/Twentieth Century Fox

Germany 2011

Opening 13 Oct 2011

Directed by: Christian Zübert
Writing credits: Christian Zübert, Ipek Zübert
Principal actors: Elmar Wepper, Mercan-Fatima Türköglu, Ivan Anderson, Özay Fecht, Bernd Regenauer

Hartmut Mackowiak (Elmar Wepper) is a middle-aged cab driver, stubbornly set in his grumpy ways. This has cost him his marriage and poisons his life. Little does he know that change is ahead, when he picks up a fare at the Nurnberg airport: a young Turkish mother taking her six-year old daughter to stay with grandma in Germany. To be helpful to others or charming is not Hartmut’s priority, and today is no different. Being labeled for this by the young woman as a “Nazi” doesn’t lift his mood either. Meanwhile little Hayat (Mercan Türkoglu), who doesn’t speak any German, innocently repeats his swear words without knowing their meaning.

A few days later fate will unexpectedly put Hayat in Hartmut’s path again. He will find Kopftuchmädchen (kerchief-girl), as he calls her, sitting in the back of his taxi after he had stopped at a hospital; all alone, she is happy to see a familiar face – the “Nazi”. He manages to deliver her to her grandmother’s apartment and leaves her there by herself, assuming someone will turn up to take care of her. Wanting to collect the substantial cab fare, he returns the next day – and winds up to be that “someone” while trying to find her family.

In no time at all Hayat manages to disarm him and the audience. Hartmut’s life had become joyless and monotonous; through her he learns to consider someone else’s needs – and gets in touch with his own. All through a little girl who doesn’t understand his language and can therefore assume only the best of him. This endearing feel-good movie written and directed by Christian Zübert shows – without moralizing and without being sentimental – that change is possible. (Carola A)

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