Film Analysis – Welcome to the Hartmanns

Write a one page film analysis on the film: “Welcome to the Hartmanns,” dir. Simon Verhoeven (2016)

Your task is to CRITICALLY ANALYZE and INTERPRET the FILM as a complex work of art. Take into consideration that this visual work of art was created at a particular time (historical and social context) and particular culture (Germany), addresses particular topics (content) and uses particular means (form) to bring across its message to a viewing audience back when it was made and today. Do not express an evaluative gut reaction (great, terrible, fun, …), but analyze the film and use the expert technical terms (such as camera angle, shot, mis-en-scène, point of view, etc.).

These are just some ideas. You can focus your film analysis on something different! And you certainly need not address all these questions!

  • Does this movie follow the classical paradigm?
  • Comedic elements?
  • Character development of individual characters?
  • Does the movie praise and/or criticize (in a humorous way) German society? Examples of scenes?
  • List the spectrum of Germans’ opinions on refugees and the influx of refugees.
  • Behavior of the German characters and behavior of the Nigerian refugee Diallo: How do they compare?
  • In which way does the movie contrast the troubles/neuroticism/challenges of members of the Hartmann family versus Diallo as a healing friend of the family? What does Diallo bring to the table?
  • What do we learn about Diallo’s reasons for fleeing from his home country, Nigeria? Put yourself into Diallo’s shoes: What does the movie suggest about his thoughts/feelings about his own situation, about the German family, and about how they view him?
  • Is this a movie about refugees or about Germans? What do you see as the message of this movie?

Characters:

Diallo (refugee from Nigeria);

German family: Angelika/Geli (mother), Richard (father), Sophie (daughter), Philipp (son), Basti (German grandson),

Other: Dr. Tarek Berger (MD and colleague of father), Heike (hippy friend of the family), Kurt (taxi driver), Sascha (plastic surgeon)

Please don’t extensively summarize the plot but focus on the film as a visual & cultural text that needs to be interpreted.


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