101 minutes, Germany, 2011, Subtitled, Colour, Anamorphic, Dolby Digital Stereo, 35mm

The experiences of Germany’s migrant workers receive a very colourful treatment in this decidedly populist comedy by Turkish-German sisters Yasemin and Nesrin Samdereli. A kind of Turkish-German equivalent of East is East, Welcome to Germany makes shameless use of national stereotypes to show up the absurdity of stereotyping. The story flips between two time frames as it examines the lives of three generations of a Turkish family – from patriarch Hüseyin’s arrival in 1964 Germany as the 1,000,001st Gastarbeiter (guest worker) to his present plan to return to Turkey with his children and grandchildren.

The humour is fairly broad and the film studiously avoids the more unpleasant realities of living in a foreign country, but one of its most intriguing aspects is the way it encompasses the history of guest workers in Germany through a judicious use of archive footage. This light-hearted crowd-pleaser also has many scenes parodying Chancellor Merkel’s 2010 speech about multiculturalism having ‘failed’ in Germany.

Showing as part of German Film Week, presented in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut Irland.

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