“Lunch Hour” with Hübner: Touching Kuddelmuddel on Platt
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With “Mittagsstunden”, director Lars Jessen brings a North Frisian homeland film to the cinemas, in which a taciturn Charly Hübner cashes in on the generation contract. The result is a moving drama in Low German.
The Kiel-born director Lars Jessen has spent his entire career making films about northern Germany and its inhabitants. His best-known works include “Fraktus” about the fictional 1980s synth-pop band with “Studio Braun” creators Heinz Strunk, Rocko Schamoni, and Jacques Palminger, as well as “Dorfpunks,” an adaptation of the aforementioned Schamoni’s novel of the same name.
In the recent past, Jessen worked as a producer at Florida Film, a company owned by Klaas Heufer-Umlauf and Joko Winterscheidt. He also worked as a director for Florida film series such as “Check Check” starring Heufer-Umlauf himself and “Forever Summer 90” starring Charly Hübner.
North German homeland film
With the cinema film “Mittagsstunden” he now delivers a North German homeland film in which the above also plays a role. Heufer-Umlauf celebrates his debut as a producer and Charly Hübner sets himself another monument as an actor. The story about Ginger Feddersen, which he embodies, is based on the novel of the same name by the Husum-born author Dörte Hansen. The whole was enriched, rewritten and adapted to the film format by screenwriter Catharina Junk in collaboration with Jessen in such a way that Hansen can also be happy with the result.
Ginger comes from the North Frisian town of Brinkebüll, but has long since turned his back on his native village. In 2012, he works as a history lecturer at the University of Kiel and lives in an open flatshare relationship with Ragnhild (Julika Jenkins) and Claudius (Nicki von Tempelhoff). Because his parents Ella (Hildegard Schmahl) and Sönke (Peter Franke) are now old and annoying to the point of dementia, Ginger decides to take a year off and help them at home.
While he’s known for decades that the two old folks are actually his grandparents, this isn’t the only drastic family secret. In particular, the whereabouts of Ginger’s biological mother Marret (Gro Swantje Kohlhof), who he long believed to be his big sister, is a mystery.
Unusual Family History
The core of the unusual family story Feddersen tells the apparently randomly composed journey through time to the sixties and seventies, albeit not with many words, but with all the more small gestures and glances. At that time, Sönke’s (Rainer Bock) inn “Dorfkrug” was the center of nationwide events, Ella (Gabriela Maria Schmeide) was still the master of her senses, but not her feelings, and ginger (Lennard Conrad) never really knew where he was. went to hear.
No matter how idyllic the images of the meadows and fields, in which director Jessen and cameraman Kristian Leschner narrate the moving family drama, this idyll does not dominate in Brinkelbüll. While in the 1970s old village life was turned upside down by land consolidation, life in 2012 seems to have left the village long ago. What remains are old people, outdated furniture and lots of local color.
The charm of the North Germans lies in their taciturnity, and the characters in “Mittagsstunden” are no exception. Only the bare essentials are spoken, and it “on Platt”, because then fewer words are needed to convey the content. Cinemagoers can choose between a Low German version with subtitles and a High German version. A peculiarity that probably only came to the fore during the recordings. If you want to get very close to the characters and understand this type of person emotionally, you should go for the Platt version. So “Mittagsstunden” is a film full of rural sadness and realistic characters that touch you.
“Mittagsstunden” is now running in German cinemas.