© Salto Film/imFilm

Germany 2019

Opening 26 Aug 2021

Directed by: Sven O. Hill
Writing credits: Sven O. Hill
Principal actors: Daniel Michel, Tomasz Robak, Paula Kalenberg, Rocko Schamoni, Leonard Kunz

It’s 1988 in Hamburg, and, at the age of 22 young Rudi (Daniel Michel) hangs out with his motorcycle friends. Everyone except Rudi has long hair and a beard, which is logical considering, that during the day, he works at the bank, dressed in a suit and a tie. He lives with his girlfriend and their small son. These three personalities: member of a motorcycle gang (a “rocker” in German), bank employee, and father, soon add another trait: the ability to cheat the bank using dividend certificates (Dividende Scheine). With the help of his rocker friend Tobi (Tomasz Robak), and the innocent exploitation of unknowing friend Speedy (Leonard Kunz), he “collects” more than two million German marks. He and Tobi take off for Australia with the money. From there he telephones his girlfriend, who, strangely, has no clue of these actions. He tells her to pack up their one-year-old son and fly from Hamburg to Australia for a new life.

Coup is based on a true story. At both the beginning and the end, we get just a glimpse of the original bank thief, as he walks along the Elbe River, now in his mid-fifties. He says, “I have no more Hamburg problems, but rather other problems.” Director Sven O. Hill has involved excellent actors, and also entails occasional animation to explain the story. I especially enjoyed watching Tomasz Robak, who is at the beginning of his career, having already appeared in theater and then television. Much of Coup was filmed in Hamburg with views of ships cruising up and down the Elbe River, as well as a mention of Pinneberg and Elmshorn. It’s truly the 1980s, with a typewriter (!) and everyone smoking non-stop. I would love to know which bank was the victim. I talked to my advisor at the Hamburger Sparkasse, but he is too young to be acquainted with this history. Coup won the Förderpreis Neues Deutsches Kino at the Hofer Filmtage 2019. (Becky Tan)

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