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Friday, August 4, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Movie Review

Finding family over a funeral

A huge hit in Germany, Dani Levy's "Go for Zucker" is a snappy farce about estranged brothers straining to reconcile for the sake of claiming an unidentified inheritance left by their wise if deceased mother.

Jaeckie Zucker (Henry Hübchen) — real name Jakob Zuckermann — is such an inveterate, nihilistic gambler, he took his chances as a kid in 1961, remaining on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. His brother Samuel (Udo Samel), however, an Orthodox Jew, went west.

Movie review 3 stars


Showtimes and trailer

"Go for Zucker," with Henry Hübchen, Udo Samel. Directed by Dani Levy, from a screenplay by Levy and Holger Franke. Not rated; suitable for mature audiences (contains some sexual content and violent images). 95 minutes. In German with English subtitles. Grand Illusion.

The two haven't seen each other in decades and must set aside hostilities and observe Jewish rites for the sake of their mother's funeral and shivah, a traditional seven-day period of mourning. If they fail, they forfeit whatever riches she left behind.

It won't be easy. Jaeckie the scalawag fakes a couple of heart attacks to slip away to a pool tournament. Both men unintentionally swallow Ecstasy (thinking it's aspirin), and straight-laced Samuel gets massaged in an unsavory nightclub. The conflict between flesh and spirit is somehow funnier when there's a possible cash reward for being "good."

"Go for Zucker" is a fine farce about discovering the meaning of "family" under peculiar circumstances.

— Tom Keogh

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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