Movie Review – Soul Kitchen (2009)

The Plot: Soul Kitchen, a free spirited story of food, friends, and great soul music was the winner of the Special Jury Prize and the Young Cinema Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, a couple of years back. The film centers on a likable but hopelessly disorganized restauranteur, Zinos (co-screenwriter Adam Bousdoukos) whose cafe is second home to a motley crew of lovable eccentrics. As the story unravels, the mayhem that follows is a hilariously entertaining story of self-realization, set to an irresistibly soulful soundtrack.

Photo credit the chicagoreader dot com

Soul Kitchen is a German comedy film directed by Fatih Akın, with a screenplay by Akin and Adam Bousdoukos. Bousdoukos actually based the story on his own experiences as the owner of a Greek tavern named “Taverna”, where Akin was a regular customer. Akin filmed the movie entirely in the Hamburg area. After his tragic drama The Edge of Heaven (2007), it’s like German writer-director Fatih Akin does a 180-degree turn with this exuberant restaurant comedy.

What we liked about the show:
The show opens with scruffy Zinos Kazantsakis (Adam Bousdoukos), running a greasy diner which is far from health code-compliant, but the regulars like their beer, fried food and instant mash potatoes from a freezer packet, just the way it is. Life is good, then all of a sudden, the tax man comes a calling, Zinos’ girlfriend Nadine (Pheline Roggan) takes off for China, his ex-con brother Ilias (Moritz Bleibtreu) shows up looking for a work-release job, a violently temperamental but brilliant chef (the amazing Birol Ünel) drives away his customers, he slips a disk in his back, and a sleazy Aryan real-estate speculator (Wotan Wilke Möhring) unleashes health inspectors on him in order to steal the property.

A lot to handle in an hour and a half of movie – I’d say so. But somehow, everything is strung together in an almost slapstick comedy way that works. Zino who has a massive hernia which is about to explode, provides quite a few laughs, hobbling around in this movie most of the time. What you will get out of Soul Kitchen is an endearing comedy of cuisine, sex and rock and roll. Watch out for the part, where the Chef decides to use some tree bark from Honduras, a powerful aphrodisiac, in his dessert which gets all the folks randy at one of the infamous Soul Kitchen parties.

A great show, with many laughs. We highly recommend it!


  • marlys says:

    Yes, this movie is GREAT! It was surprisingly funny, considering it was a German movie.

    • cumi&ciki says:

      Marlys darling.. such a cool show. I totally agree -when husband brought out the German movie, i groaned. Had no idea it would be that entertaining. Funnily enough, it flows more like an American made movie than foreign;)

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