1/5
Directed by Uwe Janson

Germany, 2016

Language: German

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 86 minutes

Fate introduces the aging cabaret singer Ruth (played by Hannelore Elsner, the Grande Dame of German cinema) and the confused Jonas (dashing German actor Max Riemelt). Ruth is running from her past and Jonas from his future but the two of them together manage to reaffirm life for each other in this moving drama.

Jonas, a young man on the run, arrives in Berlin just in time to save Ruth’s life. Evicted from her apartment, the sarcastic but warm-hearted aging Jewish cabaret singer saw no other way out than suicide. Meanwhile Jonas, driven by a secret, is also fleeing from his love and his future. As Ruth recovers, she and Jonas form a deep bond informed by her own tragic love for a non-Jewish man in post-WWII Germany - a love burdened by the legacy of the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany. As Jonas discovers Ruth’s past and takes part in her present, his attentions and the passionate, lusty Yiddish songs of her youth help her find the way back to life. In turn, when Ruth learns Jonas is incurably ill, she helps him find the strength to tackle his fears, and to forcefully propose “L’Chaim – To Life!” Featuring Hannelore Elsner, the grande dame of German cinema, and versatile young star Max Riemelt, director Uwe Janson weaves a tale that effortlessly shifts between World War II, the post-war generation and today.

To Life!

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