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  • "Until now, German director Fatih Akin has been known for hard-hitting, streetwise movies that only occasionally take a moment to swoon into lyricism. Mostly, films like Head-On and The Edge of Heaven are bracing and resolutely real. Well, Akin's mood must have brightened this year, because while Soul Kitchen is directed with as much strength and confidence as ever, it's a loose-limbed, house party of a comedy. Zinos Kazantzakis (Adam Bousdoukos) runs Soul Kitchen, a vast warehouse diner where the food might be spectacularly bad, but it's edible. Regulars show up every day to chow down on bland lumps of carbs washed down by cheap beer. Beats sitting at home. Zinos seems to have a knack for bad luck, but he's used to it. His girlfriend flies off to China for an extended stay. His brother (Moritz Bleibtreu) finally gets out of jail and drags all of Hamburg's trouble into the restaurant. Then the sour-faced tax collector shows up. What would happen if Zinos went looking for the city's biggest rock-star chef (the ferocious Birol Ünel from Head-On) in a bid to save his restaurant and shake things up? Akin sets his story in motion and lets the players dance, fuelled by a sweet, thumping soundtrack of great soul music. The chef whips up wonders from the most humble ingredients, shocking the regulars and seducing a whole new clientele. And once he slips some Peruvian tree-bark aphrodisiac into the dessert, everything changes. A full-on bacchanalian party breaks out, and that tax collector turns out to be a lot more flexible with receipts than she first appeared. Soul Kitchen is casually cool and loads of fun to watch. By the time the inimitable Udo Kier shows up, villainously chomping on dinner mints, you know this movie's heart is in the right place. Backside, too." Quoting Cameron Bailey from the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival site.
  • Soul Kitchen is a 2009 German comedy film directed by Fatih Akın, with a screenplay by Akın and Adam Bousdoukos. Bousdoukos based the story on his own experiences as the owner of a Greek tavern named "Taverna", where Akın was a regular customer. Akın filmed the movie entirely in the Hamburg area. The film had its world premiere on 10 September 2009 at the 66th Venice Film Festival. The movie received general release in Germany on 25 December 2009. Akın dedicated the film to his brother Cem, who appears in the film as Milli. The film also carries a tribute in the end credits to Monica Bleibtreu, whose appearance as Nadine's grandmother in this film was her next-to-last cinema credit.

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