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ONE DAY IN EUROPE
UK: Peccadillo Pictures
Cast: Megan Gay, Luidmila Tsvetkova, Andrei Sokolov, Oleg Assadulin, Vita Saval, Nikolai Svechnikov, Luis Tosar, Boris Arquier, Florian Lukas, Erdal Yildiz, Nuray Sahin, Ahmet Mumtaz Taylan, Peter Scherer, Miguel de Lira, Mónica Garcia, Victor Mosqueira, Marta Pazos, Blanca Cendan, Patricia de Lorenzo, Jesus Ron, Kalin Foz, Rachida Brakni, Kirsten Block, Tom Jahn, Facundo Diab, Goldi Martinez
Director: Hannes Stöhr
Countries: Germany / Spain
Languages: Russian / Turkish / English / French / German / Spanish / Hungarian / Galician
UK: 95 mins
UK Release Date: 19 May 2006 (Limited Release)
4 cities, 8 languages and a wave of robberies on the day of football's Champion's League final. Welcome to Europe!
As if she doesn't have enough problems, her taxi driver, instead of bringing her to her hotel, abandons her in a bad neighborhood...where she is robbed. Elena, an elder but street-wise denizen of the district, has seen the mugging and takes it upon herself to help. Although they can't understand a single word the other speaks, Kate, after some medicinal vodka, manages to get across that she needs to go to the police. However, not only do the Moscow police operate differently than the constables in London, they also have 18,000 soccer fans on their hands - but far more importantly, they also want to see the game. With Elena's crafty help, though, the barriers fall. Now Kate gets to meet Elena's son, a taxi driver. Her taxi driver...
Score: Spain scores a goal; it's 1:0.
Rocco, a German student, decides to fake a mugging in order to swindle his insurance company. He finds a likely spot, then bolts out to the street and frantically waves down a passing taxi. Instead of a humble taxi driver who would deliver him hastily to a police station, Rocco unfortunately winds up with gung-ho Celal, who speaks perfect German and wants to go chase the non-existent bad guys. Finally at the station, the unprepared Rocco gives a really lame account of his supposed mugging, which, even though it raises eyebrows, prompts the inspector to handle the case like it was some FBI serial murder. Locked in a room with a million mug shots to check, Rocco is ready to freak. He calls Celal, who rescues him from the cops, but Celal is now onto Rocco's scam and wants his cut. The two almost-partners-in-crime take a breather together and watch the game...
Score: Turkey ties with a goal at the last minute; it's 1:1 and now into overtime.
Santiago de Compostela:
The hapless Hungarian Gabor had been prompted by thoughts of suicide to undertake a pilgrimage, on foot, to all the holy cathedrals of Spain. At the Plaza de la Quintana his digital camera is stolen, along with the 500 photos documenting his two-year trip. Luckily, he finds a policeman nearby, but the laid-back, small-town commissioner Barreira seems more interested in having a conversation about language and culture than helping the desperate Gabor. After a short detour visiting all of his various women, Barreira finally takes Gabor to the station, where the TV is already blasting out the game. Gabor tries to get his story across several times, but the soccer match is way too distracting for the commissioner. Finally, Barreira loses his patience and tells Gabor to come back tomorrow with a better story. Gabor has lost all heart, but Barreira inspires him with the parting words: "It's not the photos, pilgrim, it's the way..."
Score: Same time frame as Istanbul, overtime about to start.
The French couple, Claude and Rachida, are street performers who are traveling through the "new" Europe looking to have big adventures and make big money. The big money hasn't happened, and now that their van has broken down they are utterly broke. Frustrated, Claude figures that staging a fake mugging could net them enough insurance dough to keep them going. They walk through different neighborhoods, but through their Parisian eyes everything just seems too clean and orderly. With the help of a travel guide, they finally decide that Kreuzberg, with its huge Turkish population, would be the likeliest place to be mugged. Claude starts to "practice" their mugging, and as fate would have it, a police van suddenly pulls up. As they start confusing Russians and Turks and their story appears more and more ridiculous, they spontaneously come up with a rather drastic change of plan, which turns out to be a drastically bad idea...
Score: In overtime, with the score still tied, the game now hinges on an 11-meter penalty shot contest...
The game, for all, is still open...
In his second feature film, director Hannes Stöhr takes a warm hearted, intrigued and wonderfully light look at people in Europe, people who meet and misunderstand one another, who travel, arrive and depart - and who sometimes become close. The entire ensemble exudes an infectious, positive spirit, with Megan Gay and Luidmila Tsvetkova (Moscow), Florian Lukas and Erdal Yildiz (Istanbul), Peter Scherer and Miguel de Lira (Santiago de Compostela), and Rachida Brakni and Boris Arquier (Berlin) in the lead roles.