To Life! (2014)

  • Drama, JIFF
  • 1h 30m

Ruth (Hannelore Elsner, grand dame of German cinema) and Jonas (Max Riemelt, rising star of Netflix hit original series Sense8) are of different generations and life experiences when they both find themselves at a crossroad.

The ageing cabaret singer Ruth is a sarcastic but very warm-hearted woman, who despite her traumatic childhood has both feet planted firmly in the midst of life. It is only when her apartment is foreclosed, along with her musical instrument workshop that her flame flickers and pales. Jonas, meanwhile, is 29 and lives in a minibus after splitting up with his girlfriend. A brief encounter between the two quickly becomes a deep bond. Soon they are not afraid to adopt even the most unusual measures and to help each other back on their feet…

Through shared parallels and camaraderie, and the lusty Yiddish music of yesteryear, this improbable duo rekindles their sense of purpose, finding reason to defiantly toast l’chaim in the face of adversity.

An uplifting drama-romance bringing together two disparate wounded souls, To Life! is a crowd-pleasing story by screenwriter-author Stephen Glantz (Wunderkinder).


Uwe Janson