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GIRAFFE, THE (MESCHUGGE)

GIRAFFE, THE
THE GIRAFFE (photo courtesy of X Filme Creative Pool)

THE GIRAFFE is a thriller... and the story of a love - the love of David and Lena who meet up in New York without realising how much their lives are already connected with each other. David, the son of a traditional Jewish family from Brooklyn, feels at home in and yet alien to the conventions of his parents; Lena, the daughter from a liberal-secular Jewish home in Hameln, has come to New York to escape the spiritual narrowness of her family home and the middle-class values of the German provinces. But their love is over-shadowed by a crime, a murder, where David's mother was the victim and both families are involved. This is where the lawyer Kaminski comes onto the scene. His speciality is divorces, but his calling is the solving of crimes against the Jewish people. He isn't impressed by the love affair between David and Lena, he obstinately pursues the traces which point directly to Lena's family.

THE GIRAFFE is a film about the perpetrators of crimes and victims and the realisation that even the victims are not immune from becoming perpetrators of a crime.


Dani Levy was born in 1957 in Basel/Switzerland. From 1977-1979, he was in the ensemble of the Basel Theater and was a member of Berlin's Rote Gruetze Theater from 1980-1983. His films include: Du mich auch (1986), RobbyKallePaul (1988), I Was On Mars (1991), Ohne Mich (1993, episode of omnibus film Neues Deutschland), Silent Night (Stille Nacht, 1996), The Giraffe (Meschugge, 1998), I'm the Father (Väter, 2002), Go for Zucker - An Unorthodox Comedy (Alles auf Zucker!, 2005), My Führer - The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler (Mein Führer, 2007), the segment Joshua in Germany 09, and Life Is Too Long (Das Leben ist zu lang, 2010).
Genre Thriller, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 1998
Director Dani Levy
Screenplay Dani Levy, Maria Schrader
Cinematography Carl-Friedrich Koschnick
Sabine Hoffmann, Dani Levy, Ueli Christen
Niki Reiser
Cast Jeffrey Wright, Nicole Heesters, David Strathairn, Dani Levy, Maria Schrader, Lynn Cohen
Producers Martin Fueter, Dani Levy, Stefan Arndt
Production Company X Filme Creative Pool, in co-production with SRF/Zurich, ARTE, WDR, Extrafilm Produktion/Berlin, Condor Films
Length 107 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Toronto 1998, Mar del Plata 1998, Turin 1998, Hof 1998, Berlin 1999 (German Films)
With backing from BAK Schweiz
German Distributor Jugendfilm-Verleih/Berlin

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