A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The danger of White nationalist groups is real and shifting as they find new ways of selling their messages of hate.
Positive Role Models
The father of Maxi, Alex, is a good man, teacher, and father.
All the main characters are White. The only time people of color are on screen is when they're being chased down, shot, and/or in terror. Yusuf is not White, but only has a small role.
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Violence & Scariness
Some moments of strong violence. Several scenes of people of color being chased down, shot, and executed by White men with guns. A bomb explosion sends a man flying. The explosion kills 10 people, including kids. A shootout between police and White nationalists injures many. Riots break out all over Europe, and some show people getting murdered on the streets. A man gets shot in the chest multiple times. He falls over, bloodied. Lots of White nationalist rhetoric, song lyrics, and chanting. The phrase, "Sieg Heil," is said a number of times, as are many comments about the "White race" being the best. A woman lies about being raped by "a bunch of Afghans" on camera in order to rile up their supporters. Racists plan and plot terrorist acts.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One sex scene that shows fully nude breasts, lots of thrusting, and some position changes. Adults romantically kiss, dance, and cuddle. A poster prominently says: "Yes to 69!" and shows two women in a "69" position.
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Strong language throughout includes: "f--k," "f--ker," "f--king," "c--t," "s--t," "ragheads," "bitch," "damn," "t-ts," and "God."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Young adults often smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and do drugs. Young adults take ecstasy, smoke weed, and get drunk. Almost all adults are shown smoking cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Je Suis Karl is a German-Czech thriller about a young woman whose family is torn apart by a senseless act of terrorism. With her father still shocked and recovering from their loss, Maxi falls prey to a charming young man named Karl. He happens to also be one of the leaders of a White nationalist terrorist group. After her family's apartment is bombed, Karl targets Maxi and indoctrinates her into his group of racists. Expect lots of racist and hateful rhetoric, language, and commentary, a variety of strong language, including f--k," "f--ker," "f--king," "c--t," "s--t," "ragheads," "bitch," "damn," "t-ts," and "God," and some strong moments of violence and specifically violence against people of color at the hands of White men with guns. A few scenes show White men with guns chasing down, shooting, and executing people of color, including kids. There's a sex scene that shows bare breasts and a fair amount of thrusting. Almost all adults often smoke cigarettes, many young adults take drugs, do ecstasy, and get drunk. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While the intention behind this German-Czech thriller may be admirable, too much of it focuses on the wrong story and the wrong characters. In the beginning, Je Suis Karl introduces Alex, Maxi's father, and for a while, it seems like Alex will be a central figure. But soon, Maxi and her new Nazi friends take over, and the rest of the film follows them around as they plan and plot more acts of terrorism and violence. Eventually, the film ends in an explosive scene of riotous bloodshed, where people of color are chased down, shot, and executed. Meanwhile, Alex finally tracks Maxi down, just in time to escape into some underground tunnels when the rioting begins. Maxi, who at this point has had quite a hand in motivating hate around Europe with her new Nazi friends, seems visibly shaken by all the violence that she encouraged, but many viewers may also feel like her character didn't earn any compassion, as many might not care at all what happens to her by the end of the film. Viewers might also be confused about how an intelligent young woman who has a great relationship with both her very liberal and pro-immigrant parents could so easily be indoctrinated into a group of racists.
Nevertheless, Je Suis Karl feels like another well-produced and well-acted film about the wrong thing. When Yusuf, the one non-White speaking role reappears at the beginning of the third and last act, the film significantly gets more interesting. Unfortunately, the film only uses Yusuf as a plot device.
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