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A small bank clerk steals millions from his employer in the 1980s, leaves, and then gets homesick. COUP meticulously and entertainingly reconstructs this wild – and true (!) - story of deceit.


COUP by Sven O. Hill is one of the funniest German films in recent years and is a bit reminiscet of the Hamburg cult film ROLLO ALLER (1990). The documentary prologue takes place on a gray day in Hamburg. The water is flowing slowly on the Elbe beach. In the background, there are cargo port cranes towering in the sky, and in the foreground a man in a parka and jeans is walking along the beach seemingly answering a question: “no, I don‘t think I‘ll really miss anything. There are beaches all over the world. And ports. Fish sandwiches. I‘ll miss that, you can‘t find them all over.“ Pause. “No, I think I won‘t really miss anything. I won‘t have any Hamburg problems anymore, I‘ll have different, problems.“

The scenario turns into a fiction film, but the laconic tone remains. Two young men tie a boom box to a motorcycle. We‘re in the 80s. Our man from the beginning discovers his love for motorcycles as a young man and is training to become a bank clerk. His environment looks on in bewilderment, but he feels comfortable in both leather and suits, though he does get bored at the job, and one day he comes up with a genius and easy get rich quick scheme with his rocker friend. When they find themselves Australia with millions, they start feeling homesick. COUP meticulously reconstructs the wild – and true (!) - story of deceit that goes from Hamburg to Luxemburg to Ausralia and back again to the present on the Elbe beach. It‘s also great that it‘s not just about the broad shenanigans but you‘ also able understand exactly how they managed to realize their scheme and what loopholes they used.

Director Sven O. Hill seamlessy switches between film scenes, animation, and a bit of original documents. The narrator is the protagonist himself, and he discusses how the big coup happened with his calm Hamburg demeanor in a detailed and amusing way. It‘s not just the relaxed understatement that‘s funny, but also the relaxed staging of director Sven O. Hill and the very dry ensemble – firstly Daniel Michel as the banker rocker, Tomasz Robak as his tender-hearted accomplice, Paula Kalenberg as the long-suffering “Pearl“ and Rocko Schamoni as the sleazy lawyer.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland 2019, 82 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Sven O. Hill
Author: Sven O. Hill
DOP: Sven O. Hill
Distributor: imFilm
Cast: Rocko Schamoni, Daniel Michel, Paula Kalenberg, Tomasz Robak, Fabienne Hollwege, Laurens Walter
FSK: 6
Release: 26.08.2021




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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