Opening 15 Oct 2015
Jakob (Wotan) is 38 and still hasn’t found a comfortable niche in life. He impersonates Elvis Presley in old folks’ homes and lives with his parents. Perhaps there is a future as a driver – specifically to drive a ram to Norway from Hamburg. Things get complicated when a 12-year-old girl named Mai (Bolotina) suddenly appears, claiming to be his daughter. She is able to present some facts, so that he vaguely remembers an affair with her mom Julia. She has no qualms about jumping into his rickety van with her cello and heading for Scandinavia – better than sticking it out with her mom, who is also a musician: a diva opera singer. Thus the road movie takes them through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and finally to Norway. Jakob and Mai become close through arguments, compromises and problems (Mia gets her period), while driving through gorgeous scenery by day and sharing a tent at night.
Elvis pops up in different situations. Five Elvis songs are part of the soundtrack. It’s good to see Wotan play someone besides a detective in a Tatort TV show. The title translates to “little goat, obstinate ram,” and it’s difficult to say which is more obstinate: the ram or Mai, or even Jakob as he grows into his role as father. The ram can definitely act as well as anyone in the cast, actually stealing the show. According to Director Fabrick, who discussed his film at the 2015 Hamburg film festival, the ram became a real friend to the whole cast. He reminded the audience that this is the Chinese “Year of the Sheep or Goat” and therefore even more pertinent, than it might have been. Decide for yourself in the cinema, or wait until it arrives on TV. (Becky Tan)