Whatz up 0+

(Was lebst du?), Bettina Braun, NĚM 2004, original version / English subtitles, 84 min

Betty Brown's documentary follows several youths, second–generation Turkish and Albanian immigrants, living in Germany. The rappers wander through life, struggling for their daily bread while trying to 'make it' with the least possible effort and feeling happiest 'hanging around' on the streets or performing in clubs. "Whatz up" follows their fortunes and life stories, involving the audience in the decisions they have to make, as well as their internal struggles with the fact that they are of a different origin than the society they live in. Often, it is a testimony to the way we underestimate ourselves and the opportunities offered by society, which, if grabbed, could lead to success. The director, a friend of the youths, penetrates their community's way of life and thinking. In her hands, the camera becomes a go–between in their private conversations, enabling the viewer to take part in the lives of the characters, rather than just being a cold outside observer, at the same time guaranteeing a degree of objectivity. This German documentary is not a detached social commentary, even though its theme is the life of a minority in a developed nation, but rather an endearing look at the potential in every human being.

 

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