“Almost Fly”: How the regional hell was born German rap

Movie and series titles are rarely snippets of dialogue from the audio plot, but if they are, it should either be “Schtonk!” Or, starting today, on Warner TV series: “Almost Fly.” This is the name of a six-part series featuring the broadcaster formerly known as the TNT series, making the two words from Episode III naming the entire format. “This is a violation of human dignity,” a hairdresser at an American barracks in Eichfeld, West Germany, says, shortly after the fall of the Wall, of the original Ben’s stray hairstyle, and adds with a laugh, “I’m about to fly!”

Translated, this means “unfortunately not really cool” and perfectly expresses the theme of the comedy of the same name. Ben is a dying teenager in the 1990s and, as it is put today, could be discriminated against repeatedly. As the illegitimate son of a black soldier, he deviates from the small-town bourgeoisie in two respects. As Walter’s similarly marginal best friend, he usually stands alone in pairs on the edge of the schoolyard. And then, on top of that, Ben has the idea of ​​turning the afro into an undercut, which he saw on the heads of American rap stars on the then-new MTV. Too bad idea.

Although pioneering.

Because when a soldier’s hairstylist removes Ben’s styling accident with the help of all his experience in the Bronx, he sets the stage for a wonderful German-style history lesson that’s far richer in the cliched history lessons. Only with a new haircut does Ben find the escape he craves from the hell of his county: hip-hop. The concert at the military base had just enlightened him. Now he’s founding the hip-hop team Atomic Trinity with the unremarkable Walter and the grumpy Nick, who perform at the school festival, so it looks like his window to freedom has opened. Only – if the performance is a success, director Florian Gagg can confidently finish the series after 60 minutes out of about 270 minutes.

Ben (Andrew Borvitz) was outsmarting a group of scammers in the schoolyard and gaining street cred. Walter (Samuel Benito) will win the heart of the mysterious Sarah (Emma Clasendens) and never have to help out in his father’s garage again. Nick (Simon Fabian) can buy a blender instead of fiddling with Lego and rise to become the mastermind behind the futuristic global success, while Dennis of Dessau (Paula Hartmann), who’s similarly bullied, thanks to her dancing skills, the atomic trinity and from there to the middle Attention advances society.

Another ethical panel for marginal micro-factors

Mission Accomplished, Happy Ending, Credits, Accomplished, Awesome. But even at such an exhilarating time traveling into the recent past of our popular culture, it’s a bit fanciful. This is why Florian Gag, based on his own script, not only tells how self-empowerment of youth works in 1990. Nearly 16 years after his breakthrough with the biopic “Wholetrain” with Elias Mubarak as a graffiti sprayer, he describes the -year – Also the birth of the German oilseed rape.

This is awesome. Even the viewer, who is familiar with the scene, can not resist some stereotypes to entertain historical series. While the language of his younger characters from “Beef” to “Alles gut” continually plummets into the 1920s, the more mature characters often look like they’ve been time-traveled since the 1970s. The fact that the population of the provinces in southwest Germany are Berliners is at best negligent, and at worst deliberate. At that time, women did not have large tattoos on their necks, even if their husbands were village merchants, as is the case here. Those affected must have waited too long to criticize the unclassified word “nigger kiss” in the confectionery country in those everyday racist days. Troubled times. Thanks to the series, she became beautiful for non-aesthetic reasons.

The unbridled passion, for example, that hip-hop veteran Jag sets out on his own passion trail. How much sympathy does small-town youth give to petty criminals Genghis (Sami Abdel-Fattah) and Damir (Elmo Anton Stratus). How does he himself allow the parents’ generation – for example: Andreas Anke and Anya Schneider as Walter’s parents – to be the object of bourgeois customs. But above all: how he managed to combine the birth of a subculture with themes ranging from misogyny to xenophobia or bullying to the growing divide between East and West in a way that everything benefits each other dramatically.

This is again guaranteed by the producer duo Wiedemann & Berg, who has now succeeded, after “4 Blocks” or more recently “Para”, in the following moral charting of marginal small worlds in the midst of mainstream society. Historic this time, but not as artificial as other on-screen costume parties. Video store employees screaming pre-ordered pornography title across the store to customers stay as dirty as movie idiots who mistake angina for a cunt. When Gaag isn’t looking for intersecting lines, his everyday sense of humor hits the mark. “Damn, is that in the east?” Ben asks when Walter shows him a catalog from the intern’s house. “No,” he commented, about the parents’ idea of ​​the future, “just ugly.” This is how history works.

“Almost Fly”, Tuesday at 9:00 pm, Warner TV series

Leave a Comment