Plot: Liliane (Malu Leicher) just moved to a small town with ther parents (Peri Baumeister, Tom Beck) and her best friend, her dog. Liliane has a special talent: she can talk with animals. It’s a talent that comes in as handy as it brings her trouble. In this case, there’s a zoo in town and the animals there tell Liliane that animals have been going missing. And even though Liliane promised to keep a low profile in the new town, she can’t let things rest.
Liliane Susewind is a sweet film that I would have lapped up as a child. And it’s very definitely for children. Looking at it with an adult’s eye, though, there are a few things that bothered me about it.
About 60 years ago, the family Yilmaz emigrated from Turkey to Germany. Now their grandson Cenk (Rafael Koussouris) starts to question his identity: is he German or Turkish? His cousin Canan (Aylin Tezel) starts telling him the story of how his grandfather Hüseyin (Vedat Erincin) arrived in Germany as a young man (Fahri Ögün Yardim), when Hüseyin announces to his flabbergasted family that he bought a house in his old village in Turkey and he expects them all to come with him to Turkey to renovate it.
Almanya tries to approach a difficult topic (immigration, identity, integration) with a sense of humor. And while it has good basics it stands in its own way sometimes: it can’t really stay away from a few stereotypes which makes it a lot shallower than would have been necessary. Still, it is an entertaining film and makes for a nice evening.