Fate Introduces the aging cabaret singer Ruth (played by Hannelore Elsner, the Grande Dame of German cinema) and the confused Jonas (Dashing German actor Max Riemelt). Ruth is running from her past and Jonas from his future but the two of them together manage to reaffirm life for each other in this moving drama.

To Life!

Drama | Foreign | 2016


Max Riemelt, Hannelore Elsner, Mathieu Carrière


Jonas – a young man on the run – arrives in Berlin just in time to save Ruth’s life. Evicted from her apartment, the sarcastic but warm-hearted Ruth – an aging Jewish cabaret singer – saw no other way out than suicide. Jonas, meanwhile, is driven by a secret, and fleeing from his love and his future. As Ruth recovers, she and Jonas begin to form a deep bond. Age-old Jewish culture and music are brought into the light of day as she tells him the story of her own impossible, tragic love for a non-Jewish man in post-WWII Germany, a love burdened by the legacy of the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany. As Jonas discovers Ruth’s past and takes part in her present, his attentions and the passionate, lusty Yiddish songs of her youth help her find the way back to life. And, upon learning of Jonas’ incurable illness, it is she who will help Jonas find the strength to tackle his fears, to stop fleeing, and to forcefully propose “L’Chaim – To Life!” Featuring Hannelore Elsner, the grande dame of German cinema, and versatile young star Max Riemelt, director Uwe Janson weaves a tale that effortlessly shifts between World War II, the post-war generation and today.


Michael Zechbauer, Alice Brauner


Uwe Janson

Official Selection, Festival of New German Film 2015
Official Selection, Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival 2015
Official Selection, Buenos Aires German Film Festival 2015
Official Selection, Berkshire International Film Festival 2015
Official Selection, Berlin and Beyond Film Festival 2015
Official Selection, Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival 2014
Official Selection, Jewish International Film Festival 2014
Official Selection, 48. Internationale Hofer Filmtage 2014
Official Selection, Sao Paulo International Film Festival 2014
Official Selection, Haifa 30th International Film Festival 2014
Official Selection, Montréal World Film Festival 2014