Germany shows its soft side in film

Erica Maurice
Staff Writer

Students gathered Wednes­day afternoon in the Arts and Communications Building to watch “Soul Kitchen,” hosted by the Foreign Languages Enhancement Activities club, to wrap up its German Cinema Month.

“This is a way of enhancing foreign language on campus,” said Josue Alvarez, the Spanish instructor who heads the club.

This film focuses on a Greek immigrant, Zinos, who owns a restaurant in Hamburg named “Soul Kitchen.”

Although Zinos’ restaurant is a favorite among regular customers looking for a greasy and simple meal, its fate is constantly hanging by a thread.

However, the food and the crowd suddenly change when Zinos hires a brilliant, yet psychotic gourmet chef.

After enjoying success and having several odd experiences, Zinos eventually loses everything. But in the end, the film stays true to its upbeat tone and audiences can rest assured that there is a happy ending.

Through this program Alvarez wanted to show films that showed what different countries cultures are like.

“Well for this I try to select a different variety of genres that depict culture,” Alvarez said.

One of the aspects of this film that Alvarez enjoys is that it gives a realistic look at the country and how culturally diverse Germany is due to immigration.

The quirky and fun film had surprising scenes that audience members made clear they did not expect.

“I thought Germany was a little more reserved and stoic but the movie was relaxed and kind of raunchy,” said senior political science major Mary Anne Mendoza.

A raunchy scene that stuck with audience members was when Zinos and his chef put an aphrodisiac into the dessert that made the whole restaurant sex crazed, making for an interesting scene when they headed to the dance floor.

“It is important to see that Germany is not what they read in history books and not what it was 50 years ago,” Alvarez said.

Mendoza had her own discrepancies with the film.

“I thought it was very lacking in character development and the scene transitions were scattered,” Mendoza said.

An example is when Zinos’ brother is arrested and then in the next scene he is released from prison without any explanation of how he got out.

A scene Mendoza did enjoy was when Zinos easily and comically wins his restaurant back in an auction.

She said it was entertaining but also the most predictable and cheesy part of the film.

“I thought it was cute even though it was cheesy,” said Jeanine Arana, freshman undeclared major. “I really enjoyed the ending scene because it was very romantic.”

The FLEA club provides students with the chance to view films in Spanish, French, German and Japanese.

FLEA wants to help students see and change their perspectives on countries and culture.

Erica Maurice can be reached at

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