The past installments in the Foreign Film series have been extremely serious or dramatic, but the latest movie shown, “The Kebab Connection,” was refreshingly upbeat. The protagonist is Ibo, a Turkish boy living in Germany who aspires to create the first German kung fu movie. As if that particular pipe dream wouldn’t be enough of an obstacle for him, he then discovers his girlfriend, Titzi, is pregnant.
The movie is a strange mix of slapstick comedy, familial drama and martial arts scenes. Surprisingly, it works, though some subplots – like the Montague/Capulet-esque rivalry between Ibo’s uncle’s kebab shop and the Greek restaurant next door, and the thugs who pop up every once and a while to insult people and destroy things – take away from the real heart of the movie.
The best scenes by far are the ones that eschew comedy entirely and focus simply on the familial issues of the movie. Ibo’s father, angry that his son impregnated a German girl, kicks him out of the house.
Then Titzi, who realizes that Ibo is not responsible enough to be father material, dumps him and plans to raise the baby herself. Ibo must figure out a way to win back Titzi, prove himself to his family and somehow fulfill his directorial dreams.
“The Kebab Connection” truly had something in it for every type of viewer: a coming of age story, a romance and a slapstick comedy combined with touching moments between family members, quotations of Shakespeare, an alcohol-induced dance scene, and some truly wicked-awesome kung fu moves. It’s a lot of material to pack into an hour and a half movie, but it succeeds in keeping the viewer entertained.
Weren’t able to make it to see “The Kebab Connection”? Never fear! The next installment in the Foreign Film Series, “Das Wunder von Bern,” will be on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in Lynch Auditorium.