Reviewed Mar 04, 2012
Adam Moody’s review:
An alcoholic man, Bruno Stroszek, is released from prison and has decided to start over and change his life. He reunites with one of his friend Eva, who is a prostitute hiding from her abusive pimps, they begin to try to better their lives in a low-class section of Berlin. With them is Stroszek's elder neighbor, Scheitz, who fears his upcoming journey to America to meet his nephew. Stroszek returns to working as a street performer, playing his accordion and belting out hopeful lyrics, while Eva tries and fails at avoiding her pimps. After multiple confrontations with the pimps that leave Eva beaten and Stroszek's accordion destroyed, they realize the hopelessness of their situation and decide to escape Wisconsin to live their own "American dream." Once in America the three Germans far from home look at this new country with naive, hopeful eyes. They are unable to communicate with or understand this new country and they quickly find themselves in an even more hopeless situation than before. Bruno Schleinstein plays Stroszek, he had collaborated with Herzog previously in The Enigma of Gasper Hauser, and Herzog wrote the role specifically for him. He plays his challenging role wonderfully. Stroszek is kind-hearted and good-natured, but weak and unable to deal with the endless struggles he must deal with. Watching his hopeful ignorance being chewed up and spit out by this remorseless new country is tragic. Herzog's usual eccentric directional style is as good as ever. A unique film that tells a tragic story.