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Soul Kitchen

Soul Kitchen

5.0 1
Director: Fatih Akin, Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birol Ünel

Cast: Fatih Akin, Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birol Ünel


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A low-budget restaurateur finds himself in a big vat of trouble in this comedy from director Fatih Akin. Zinos Kazantsakis (Adam Bousdoukos) runs a cheap restaurant in a run-down warehouse distract that he calls the Soul Kitchen. While the food isn't very good, it doesn't cost much and a regular clientele


A low-budget restaurateur finds himself in a big vat of trouble in this comedy from director Fatih Akin. Zinos Kazantsakis (Adam Bousdoukos) runs a cheap restaurant in a run-down warehouse distract that he calls the Soul Kitchen. While the food isn't very good, it doesn't cost much and a regular clientele shows up each evening for cheap beer, filling food, and the company of their peers. Bad luck follows Zinos like a shadow, and when his girlfriend, Nadine (Pheline Roggan), runs off to China, he decides to follow, putting his brother (Moritz Bleibtreu) in charge of the restaurant. However, his brother is a convicted criminal, and before long the city's underworld has taken over the place and tax collectors are threatening to shut them down. Zinos returns after Nadine pledges her heart to another, and discovers his diner is a shambles; hoping to put the Soul Kitchen back on its feet, Zinos hires a flashy gourmet chef (Birol Unel) to revamp the menu, but soon he's alienated his old customers while new ones haven't taken their place. Soul Kitchen received its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen is a jubilant celebration of urban life and its discontents. Akin and star/co-writer/former restaurant owner Adam Bousdoukos meant the film as sort of a modern, urban heimatfilm, and to the extent that it celebrates community, it is a strange sort of multi-ethnic success in that regard. The film concerns Zinos Kazantsakis (Bousdoukos), a Greek-German owner of a greasy spoon on the outskirts of Hamburg. As his striking blonde aristocratic girlfriend prepares to leave for Shanghai for business, Zinos, who is reluctant to abandon his restaurant to go with her, begins to take Soul Kitchen more seriously. When he injures his back, he hires a cantankerous but passionate chef, Shayn (Birol Ünel of Akin's Head-On), who reworks his menu in a way the locals don't appreciate. Meanwhile, Zinos' older brother, Illias (Moritz Bleibtreu of The Baader Meinhof Complex), gets out of prison on work-release, and has his eye on the restaurant's hard-drinking waitress, Lucia (Anna Bederke). Just as business begins to pick up, Zinos has to contend with the machinations of an elementary-school chum, Neumann (Wotan Wilke Möhring), who has become a ruthless real-estate developer. The ensemble cast, which also includes the lovely Dorka Gryllus (Irina Palm) as Anna, Zinos' near-angelic physical therapist, is uniformly strong. The well-modulated performances, the consistently soulful soundtrack, and Akin's gritty visual style keep the film grounded in the real world, even as the plot takes some unlikely, and -- as in the case of a comically disrupted funeral scene -- overly broad and obvious turns. Akin is first and foremost a visual storyteller, and Soul Kitchen is at its strongest when he lets his images do the talking, as in the scene where Illias first falls for Lucia while watching her dance in a club. A simple low-angle shot of Anna as she works on Zinos' back, meanwhile, clues the audience in on what their future might hold. A "learning-to-cook-with-Shayn" montage might have felt clichéd in other hands, but the bumping soundtrack, Akin's assuredness, and the skill of his cast make such moments feel fresher than expected. Similarly, evil real-estate developers are not exactly new to the cinema, but Akin infuses his story with enough energy and underdog empathy that we can't help but root for the good guys. This relatively lightweight, upbeat comedy is new ground for Akin, who made a splash with the hypercharged romantic drama Head-On, then seemed to take his critical success to heart, losing some of his unrestrained vitality with the more standard arthouse fare of The Edge of Heaven. It's nice to see that Akin can make a film so flat-out entertaining without losing his passion and integrity.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Ifc Independent Film
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Special Features

Trailer; Making-Of

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Adam Bousdoukos Zinos Kazantsakis
Moritz Bleibtreu Illias Kazantsakis
Birol Ünel Shayn Weiss
Anna Bederke Lucia Faust
Pheline Roggan Nadine Krüger
Lucas Gregorowicz Lutz
Wotan Wilke Möhring Thomas Neumann
Dorka Gryllus Anna Mondstein
Demir Gokgol Sokrates
Udo Kier Herr Jung
Monika Bleibtreu Nadine's Grandmother
Jan Fedder Inspector Meyer
Peter Lohmeyer Restaurant Owner
Cem Akin Milli
Marc Hosemann Ziege
Catrin Striebeck Frau Schuster
Ugur Yucel Kemal

Technical Credits
Fatih Akin Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Monique Akin Casting
Katrin Aschendorf Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew D. Bird Editor
Andrea Bockelmann Production Manager
Adam Bousdoukos Screenwriter
Paolo Colombo Co-producer
Nica Faas Makeup
Alberto Fanni Co-producer
Maike Heinlein Makeup
Pia Hoffmann Musical Direction/Supervision
Ann-Kristin Homann Producer
Rainer Klausmann Cinematographer
Tamo Kunz Production Designer
Kai Lüde Sound/Sound Designer
Klaus Maeck Musical Direction/Supervision,Producer
Fabienne Vonier Co-producer
Flaminio Zadra Co-producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Soul Kitchen
1. The Soul Kitchen [4:20]
2. Dinner with the Family [6:03]
3. Have You Escaped? [4:19]
4. Go See Anna [4:18]
5. The New Chef [5:21]
6. Slow Night [5:16]
7. Health Inspection [5:38]
8. Wanna Go To A Party? [4:09]
9. Another Round [6:31]
10. Brand New Place [6:28]
11. Name Your Price [3:20]
12. Private Function [3:44]
13. Honduran Tree Bark [5:51]
14. Surprise On The Way To Shanghai [6:31]
15. Crashing The Funeral [3:27]
16. Who's Looking After The Restaurant? [6:36]
17. Kemal The Bone Crusher [4:25]
18. 2000,015 Euros [5:20]
19. No Rent For Christmas [2:30]
20. End Credits [5:36]


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Soul Kitchen 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago