Festival Film Examines Muslim Immigration in Germany

Jacob Ngai, Staff Writer

German students traveled to San Francisco to attend a film festival featuring a documentary about three Lebanese siblings in Berlin.

The screening  took place in the Kabuki theaters in Japantown on May 1st. The featured film tells the story of the Akkouch family as they face the threat of deportation.  The intention of the film was to educate people about the troubles of Muslims and immigration in Germany. “The film that we saw at the festival often offered insights into German culture that we wouldn’t see otherwise and this year was a really good example of that,” said German teacher David Blumberg.

“I really liked the film. It gave an interesting perspective on the plight of immigrants in a foreign country,” said senior Thomas Joyce.

“I think the film gave a realistic portrayal of the everyday problems German immigrants face. It was hard to believe this tragedy occurs to several families across Germany,” added freshman Sam Lee.

The director, Agostino Imondi, showed how the family deserved their citizenship. After the movie, he spoke with the audience via Skype and answered their questions.

“The film was good. I learned a lot about how immigration and deportation effected foreigners in Germany,” said freshman Ryan First.

“It was good and educational,” said freshman Chris Brown. “It made me realize life is not as easy as it is for others, I just hope they get out of thier financial crisis.”

At the end of the film, the students were also provided with a short Q and A session with the director, Agostino Imondi.

Blumberg has been taking students to the festival for over 10 years.

In the film, the children of the Akkouch family are successful musicians and break dancers who live in Berlin. But the family’s precarious position puts a strain on the teenagers and a rivalry arises about who should be the family’s main moneymaker.

Unfortunately, the youngest of the three, Maradona, gets himself into trouble at school, resulting in numerous suspensions. However, an audition to be part of a TV casting show proves to be his turning point. If he won first prize, he would receive prize money along with many opportunities to make more. To the Akkouch Family, this prize money is everything to them, since boosting their monthly income allows them to avoid deportation.