Honig im Kopf tells a story of a 10-year-old Tilda and his grandfather Amandus, who after his wife’s death becomes the first symptoms of Alzheimer illness. It was the best German movie of 2014 in terms of attendance figures: with over 7 million viewers in the German cinemas.
Alzheimer is probably the worst condition which one can suffer from in one’s old age. There’s no cure for this illness and according to the Alzheimer’s Assoociation, it affected nearly 44 million people worldwide in 2016. It is hard to describe emotions and suffering of the family members who are trying to help a relative who suffers from this type of dementia. The movie itself was crticised of touching the topic in a somewhoe offensive way: by adding inappropriate jokes in the moments where emotions should surpass the fun factor. Til Schweiger, who played the main role, directed, produced, edited and co-writed the screenplay, was accused of dealing with a serious topic in a trivial way and not having enough knowledge to do a movie about Alzheimer. However, for those who don’t have a clue how dementia works, the movie is a good base to start understand this illness.
What’s more important by watching a movie: reality or showing something which is not common? If you had a family member who suffers from Alzheimer, would you like to see a movie which shows excatly the same struggle you’re experiencing every day? The same emotions and problems? Or would you rather like to watch something which gives you some hope? The Intouchables is a good example of such movie. Based on a real events, it is a balanced portion of humour and seriousness. One can’t say that Honig im Kopf represnts the same level like The Intouchables, the latter is better, that’s out of discussion. But why does a movie which tells a story about serious topic can’t be funny at some points? Maybe it’s exactly what some people need in such moment of their life: to forget abut daily fights for a while and get some hope.
In Honig im Kopf such hope is represented by Tilda, played by Til Schweiger’s daughter, Emma Schweiger. She still has this childish innocence and belief, that all the problems can be solved. In one of the scenes the doctor explains Tilda what Alzheimer actually is: by comparing inclining books in a bookshelf to her granfather’s damaged parts of the brain. She also finds out that one day the grandfather won’t recognize her at all. The movie isn’t a fairytale and indeed it shows a scene where Amandus asks her, who she is. I found a comment of a viewer who says, that Alzheimer people aren’t treated nicer because of their difficult illness. In Honig im Kopf even though Amandus forgot how to behave in a restaurant he still could stay there and the clients who complained about his behaviour needed to leave the place. Again, isn’t it something what one would need? A perfect version of how society should behave instead of a harsh reality which anyway we can experience daily?
Honig im Kopf is a nice example of a so-called „feel good movie”. A movie which helps us to deal with reality and give little bit of hope. Til Schweiger managed to make a movie which proved that he’s not only action or comedy actor but he can also created something more emotional.