Self-Criticism of a Bourgeois Dog (2017) - full transcript

A bourgeois dog confesses how he was transformed from being a filmmaker to being four-legged: Unable to find financing for his film, JULIAN is forced to accept a job as a seasonal farmhand. At a party, however, he makes the young Canadian expat CAMILLE believe that he's going to do research for a communist fairy-tale film and offers her the leading part. To his great surprise, she decides to accompany him, sparking off Julian's lurking romantic fantasies. Thus they arrive at the deceitfully idyllic scene of an exploitative apple plantation. While Julian finds the manual labour agonizing and fears the strange roommates in his humble container home, Camille enthusiastically plunges into the alleged research and makes friends with HONG and SANCHO, two credulous proletarians in pursuit of happiness. For Julian, it's getting more and more difficult to act the communist filmmaker. And what's more, a hot-tempered model worker with American dreams gets in his way, a mute monk with magical powers and a screw loose shows up, the owner of the plantation accidentally gets killed, and an attempted revolution ends up in confusion. At this moment, however, the sparrows in the trees come up with an unexpected plan... - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
The times of miracles
may long have passed

or never've been
more than a useful lie.

However, strange things
still happen in this world.


At first, there's nothing
unusual about this story:

A man watches a painting.

Just what is it that
fascinates him so?

Maybe the door
opening onto a green garden?

I'd often told stories
about people like Hong.

But soon,
we'd have to share a story,

which I didn't like at all.



Saint Francis of Assisi!

So what?

St Francis lived
among the poor,

spoke to the birds,

and always gave
away his clothes.

Because he was a communist.

What an idiot.


That cloud looks like a dog!

Was it a casual
or a prophetic remark?

Cause here's the first strangeness
you'll have to deal with:

I'm a dog.

While they were sitting
under the olive trees, however,

I was still human.

After an unproductive morning,

I'd gone to the Museum square

to watch girls entering and leaving
Art Library on a late summer day.

What are you doing here?

Just some research
at Art Library.

Working on a new film?

Doing some writing.


Cause I heard it's become
hard for you

to find financing!

Well, it's always been hard for
more radical stuff in Germany.

To me, it seems
you became less radical.

But you've
read my review.

Perhaps you stepping into
narrative wasn't too happy?

How did she know
I might never make another film?

But I didn't have time to think,

as I ran into Camille,

who I hardly knew,

but on whose Facebook profile
I'd already spent hours.

I had a stupid idea.

Self-criticism of a bourgeois dog

Of course, there was no film.

I lived on welfare,

vaguely hoping for a grant
to write a new screenplay.

I'd just had an appointment
at the public employment agency.

I hadn't dared to refuse
when my caseworker urged me

to accept a job
as a seasonal farm worker.

But in Hong
and Sancho's lives

an unpleasant turn
had occurred, too.

During their shift, a Dürer and a
fire-extinguisher had disappeared.

So they got fired
on a Wednesday morning.

Sancho's grandfather,
a Swiss nudist and esoterist,

had left him a pendulum,

which suggested they should
team up to face destiny.

Being sick of wage labour,

they decided to try their luck
as freelance deposit collectors.

The first building stone
of our happiness!

Finally we're our own masters!

But this American dream
soon vanished

and their future looked uncertain.

Today, under the old
lime tree in Straubnitz,

from 6 a.m. until midnight,

staff will be hired for
the OKLAHOMA apple plantation!

Whoever thinks of his future
belongs to us!

Whoever misses the chance now
misses it forever!

Everyone is welcome!

Now they force me to work
on a fucking plantation,

so humiliating!

This might be paradise on earth!

You'll be a proletarian now!

If you tell anyone,
I'll kill you!

We were going to
a party at my old professor's,

famous documentary
film maker Rudolf Botow.

Dear guests,
dinner's ready,

but first some music,

so shut the fuck up!

You overambitious couch potatoes!

At your age,
I had two kids

and as a convinced Maoist

I worked in a factory,
for my re-education!

And I fucked, fucked, fucked.


You know what I learnt there?

Working class people
are the biggest fascists!

So you'll get
the post as his assistant?

Yes, I start next week.

Didn't you apply, too?

Yes, but I wouldn't
have time, anyway.

Really? What are you doing?

I'll be away for some months.

They let you go on holiday
though you're on welfare?

Who says I'm on welfare?

Wasn't it you, bro?

Me? No way!

Where do you
spend your holiday?

No, I'm doing research.

What research?

Well, my...

my next project is
set on an apple plantation,

so I'll work on a farm

to investigate the
working conditions there.


Rudolf, someone's
following in your Maoist footsteps!

All the wheels stand still

when my fat ass
declares its will!

It was true!
I wanted to be a communist,

but also to sleep with her.

Why'd she taken
off her shoes?

I'd fallen in love.

So, did you make out?

Was I a genius or an idiot?

Two days later she wrote,

she wanted to help me
with my "research".

Do you smell the apples?

It'll be Paradise on earth!

Sign here, then.

Yes, man was born to work,

it's God-given.

His trees bear apples,

but you still have
to pick them yourselves.

Lazy buggers would
starve even in paradise!

Come on!

You're holding everyone up
with your handicap.

What has four eyes,
but can't see?

What had I got into?

Hi comrades!

Glad to meet you!

These guys look dangerous!

Let's first have a nap!

I beg you pardon?

- When did you start smoking?
- Shut up!

This might get complicated.

No-one was able
to tell the Countess

how to marry off
one's daughters nowadays.

Good evening!
Join us for a drink?

No thanks, I'm tired.

The French way of letting parents
decide the fate of their children

never made its way into Russia.

The English way of
letting girls decide themselves

was not acceptable
in Russian society either.

And the Russian way of

seemed totally absurd.

Everyone made fun of it,

even the Countess.

So no-one really knew
how girls would get married...

Hail to Princess Sherbasomething,
but I need to sleep!

We start early tomorrow,

and there'll be no
Count Vronsky to court me.

- What?
- Vronsky wants to sleep.

Comrades, please,

let's take a democratic vote.

One, two, three



Dear employees,
let me welcome you all

as new members
of the Oklahoma family!

The apples glow
like rubies in the sun,

their fragrant scent
fills the air,

transforming work into joy!

Wait a moment,
work and fun?

How does that fit?

We at Oklahoma say:
It does!

That's why experts in
Employee Satisfaction have...

developed a playfully
motivating competition for you.

You'll work in teams of two,

competing in a
merry picking Olympics.

Each week, the team
that has harvested

the biggest amount of apples

will be awarded
the golden apple crown.

And receive an extra bonus.

Now you'll ask yourself:

Is it really just a game?

And the world market?

Right, we still
need to be competitive:

There's a minimum
amount of apples

you have to reap
in your daily shift.

But don't worry:

If once you have
a weak day,

just do some
extra rounds at night.

Any questions?

Will extra rounds be paid?

Does this sound logical to you?

No... That wouldn't be logical!


I wish us all a great summer!

So, made up your teams yet?

I've got to sit down,
it's too uncomfortable.

You have to work in a logic way.

Look how I do it.


Let me put it
in a parable.

On my grandfather's farm,

there was this farmhand
called Sang-Kyung.

He worked the same way as you.

Once, at full moon,
he was sent out

to gather some ferns.

So what?

It was in May,

and the forest
smelled of fresh moss.

A senseless story.

The mountains looked crisp.

Well, it's so long ago...

I stopped listening!

Lazy, old and stupid!

How can you ever
compete in the world market?

Look how they're taking advantage!

I understand some German,

but I...

speak very little.

After that humiliating afternoon,
I had to put in an effort

not to make a fool of myself again.

I had brought some wine

which once helped getting
a scenography intern to kiss me.

But I found Camille
in unpleasant company.

We could speak in tandem.

I came with my parents

during Korean War

to East Germany.

Well, I'm not too sure.

Would the evening
bring a romantic twist?

I could certainly use a bonus.

I have many wishes!

Don't they say:

A wish generates ideas?

One should break Zurab's leg.

That would be criminal.

Or an accident.

You could push him on the stairs.


As you wish!

Every man is the
architect of his happiness!

Wake up, lazybones!

The week dragged on endlessly
and I felt sorry for myself.

I wasn't made for physical work,
I made no progress with Camille,

whose strange enthusiasm
seemed to make indifferent

to the strains of work.

In my dreams of exhaustion

she began to resemble the
heroine of a Soviet silent film.

Saturday, Zurab and I were crowned
harvesting kings by Mrs Gottfried.

For the hard-working,
life's a silver conveyer-belt!


It's all your fault!

Next week, I'll work with Zurab.

You're blocking my success,
useless fool!

Much to Zurab's disappointment,

the bonus was an Amazon
voucher worth 20 Euro,

but Sancho still envied him.

I was waiting for Sunday

to start a romantic attack.

One million!

That's quite some money!

Too bad!

One could think
it's Paradise on Earth.

I wish every day
could be as beautiful!

Donald Duck.

Scrooge makes a good deal.

I prefer Donald.

He always ends up the fool.

That's the difference
between you and me.

At night, we read Anna Karenina.

That's nice.

First, they go to Italy,

and nobody has to work.

Are you poor, too?

Why are you here, then?

The question is: Why are you here,
if you're not poor?

I mentally commanded her
to kiss me.

This is the police.

Leave the private
property immediately!

I repeat:

This is private property!

Please leave at once!

Dear employees,

the time has come

to prove we're one team,

to prove that, together,

we're able to
defy the storm

that has brewed
across the Atlantic.

Markets were flooded overnight
with American apples,

prices are collapsing,

we have our backs
against the wall.

We now have to concentrate
on what has always been

the core values
of the Oklahoma family:

Our willpower and our
solidarity in hard times.

"Forward, without forgetting

What our strength
will always be:

Our solidarity!"

What was that speech?

The reaping requirement
will be 100 Kilo more!

Who told you that?

Was just sent by SMS.

Now we're screwed!

This world market
starts to be a nuisance.

I don't care. Next week
I'll work with Zurab.

But trouble was
the last thing I needed.

What would my caseworker say?

I've never been a socialist,

but one thing
we did learn in the East:

It's us who create
surplus value.

But profit rattles
in Mrs Gottfried's pocket.

Please leave Marx
on the book shelve.

The dust makes me...

Exchange value is a tricky thing.

Remember my grandpa.

A hungry pirate once
offered him a Stradivari,

in exchange for a goat.

My grandfather took the violin,

but smashed it
on a waiter's skull

in solidarity
with the October Revolution.

Or the other way round.

Now, shouldn't he
have kept the goat?

What about a strike?

A reasonable strike
is mostly reasonable.

Rotting apples will
make Gottfried surrender.

And we'll work less again!

This revolutionary arousal
made Camille blush slightly.

Was this how she'd look
if we slept together?

I had to play a double game.

Ok, now cut that shit!

The boss will just replace you
by some other Romanians,

or just shut
operations here entirely.

I say:

Keep quiet and
keep your job!

Yes, Bruno convinced me.

A strike would be
way too dangerous.

Mrs Gottfried
doesn't scare me!

But she's just a
small cog in the wheel!

She wouldn't even be admitted to
the hallway of the executive board!

Any trouble,
and we're all screwed!

Gottfried included!

Just like - this!

By invisible hand!

Even worse:
We'd never get another job!

Fate says: Rather not.

What's going on?

We've caught a thieving immigrant!

Are you St Francis of Assisi?

But one of his friends?

I think he can't speak.

Where are you going?

Can't ask that to a mute!


You have somewhere to go?

Guess he got lost.

Want to work with us?

I tried to avoid this figment.

Camille, however, was enchanted,

whereas Hong and Sancho
were driven to desperation,

as he didn't understand
wage labour at all.

You can't eat the apples!

They belong to Mrs Gottfried.

You must put them
in these boxes, get it?

So Mrs Gottfried can sell them.

Explain the world market to him.

See them workers?

If there are too few
apples in their boxes,

Mrs Gottfried has to fire them,

and they all die of starvation.

He's got it now.

Quite annoying, those saints.

No! You must put
them into OUR boxes!

It's a competition!

You'll weaken our motivation!

You must forget
about your sainthood now!

Now he's got it!

I have my doubts.

Nice work.

Ah, Mr Monk!

Your first weekly wage!


Come on, take it!

What a psychopath!

This goes against German law!

I feel threatened at my workplace!

Take it, or you can't
buy any commodities.

Take it!

Can I have half of it?

You have to think of us, too!

"While the pals of my youth /

howl at my miseries."

What have you got there?

All for yourself?

A present for our friends?

They'll be delighted!

Leave these heavy bags with us,
we'll hand them over.

You may leave now.

At night, Zurab surprised
us with cigarettes and lemons.


The moon shines
down on our luck!

Bless our benefactor, Zurab!

Who did he meet secretly at night?

Or might even the monk
be her lover?

I had to risk a dramatic step.

Watch out!

Dear employees, my trust in you
is seriously undermined.

Only by chance a serious crime
was uncovered last night.

Some malicious Judas has for clays
been secretly selling our apples

to supposedly
Polish black marketeers.

A mindless crime
by an unscrupulous egoist

Was fate about to
intervene in my favour?

If he doesn't turn himself in

I have no choice
but to dismiss you all.

Of course, the Turk!

Did you have any accomplices?

He's the illegal worker,

if they ask for his papers
we're in double trouble.

Norman, I won't press charges,

if he swears never
to show up here again.

But criminal immigrationists
like him are a threat to society!

You must be tired
after all this commotion!

And there's fresh apple cake
and coffee in the hall!


Must admit:

All that investigating
did exhaust me!

And now, get off!


Filthy dog!

May the shame of
treason haunt you forever!

This is criminal trespassing!

Isn't anyone calling the police?

That's usually done!

For anyone with no name,

the police usually means trouble.

But your name is Anton!

And that's the order of things!

We live under the rule of law!

I have a bad feeling.

What if they say
we killed her?

They'll suspect Mr. Motzen.


Good Heavens!

Oh my god!

I sure wouldn't like that!

And if we don't tell anyone?

They'll find out!

No apple delivery tomorrow,
and we're done!

We're dealing with
the German Police!

We could take over
the plantation

and make a
communist collective!



I'll smash your
stupid face!

I'm getting all dizzy!

Communism is nice,
but what does he mean by it?

Smells of state socialism!

Right, Chink!

Communism alright,

but first comes socialism,
and it's worth shit!

A famous writer

once dreamt he was
lying behind a policeman

and a bush walked by,
or the other way round.

Anyway, he was
arrested at breakfast!

Was dreadful!

My parents were cultivating
47 sorts of beets,

then the Party came
and said: 1. Collectivization

2. GDR must cultivate
the first hardy avocado

for socialist manned spaceflight.

So everything's turned over
to avocados, but nothing grows.

Gunter from the kolkhoz watches
West-TV instead of working,

and why should he?

So dad calls the Secret Police,
hoping for some reward.

Meets up with contact
“Eugen Onegin” at a restaurant.

Gunter gets 10 years, dad nothing
but a socialist handshake.

I wanted to study concert harp,

but was sent to the People's
Academy of toilet engineering.

Marina says, Zurab shall
sit and shut up.

Nobody wants his Bolshevism.

Either our communism
will be hedonistic,

anarchistic and democratistic,

or she's out.

She's had enough of sacrifices!

The problem is not communism,
but the communists.

Cause they want to
give orders all the time.

Perhaps we can make
communism without communists?

We'd still have
to pick stupid apples.

Like Americans saying they'd
love Paris without the French.

Bullshit! Your kolkhoz means:
Nobody works,

but you go on
your nerves collectively.


Some instant Yankee idealism!

He should shut up!

She's a carpenter and will
teach us to build houses.

Hurray for roof beams!

She also knows
how to cultivate

potatoes, onions and
aubergines. It's easy!

I can sharpen scissors!

Dear friends, life belongs to us!

I'll say something, too.



I feel like a
blank sheet of paper.

So what do we do?
I've had enough of assemblies!

Dear friends, let's not
lose our heads while in shock!

You can't just expropriate some
international Investment Fund

and fantasize yourself into
some fabulous middle ages.

Besides, no-one
amongst us has the skills

to run an enterprise like this!

Let's face it: none of us
is capable of anything!

Some idiots against
the World Spirit!

Let's try to
get out of this mess!

It's not too late!
Let's call the law for help!

Long live the Revolution!

Long live the Revolution!

What's going on here?

Why is no-one at work?

You monstrosity!

Get the fuck off!

Go back to where you
fucking came from!

What's up, morons?

Has the sky fallen
on your heads?

Off to work!


Back home, I got
the unexpected news

that I'd get funding
to write a script,

that I'd get funding
to write a script,

which put a momentary end
to my financial troubles.

But the events on the plantation
had left me confused.

I hoped I could at least
make a film out of it.

It seems the end of the story.

This world is ill-conceived!

I'm afraid, yes.

No, we can't.


We're waiting for the monk.

So we're waiting for nothing.

We might as well leave.

Hey, Monk!

We're going back to Berlin.

We're going back to Berlin.

Come join us!

Is he dead?

He's praying.

For the story to go on.

For the story to go on.

What will you do in Berlin?

That's enough.

Nothing will happen anyway!

What's up with him?

Maybe he can write it down?

The birds say:
Your prayers have been answered.

The birds say:
Your prayers have been answered.

Get up and go
on a pilgrimage to Italy.

As you arrive,
the revolution will have occurred

and communism without communists

will make the green of earth
glisten once again.

Will make the green of earth
glisten once again.


And if it's a lie?

But he's a saint!

And the birds?

Yes, birds talk
all kinds of stuff.

Yes, birds talk
all kinds of stuff.

I'll ask the pendulum.

It's the truth.
Let's go.

Seems to be a miracle!

Seems to be a miracle!

She doesn't believe
in the revolution.

A miracle of beans!
One turning into three!

A miracle of beans!
One turning into three!

Long live the revolution!

If you keep on lagging behind,
we'll never get to communism!

In communism without communists,
everyone's allowed their own speed!

In communism without communists,
everyone's allowed their own speed!

Or it's not worth
a hill of beans!

May I ask a question?

Please do so.

In communism
without communists,

who always does
the stupid tasks?


But can science
solve all problems?

Just think:

Who'll clean
the public toilets?

We might end up
fooled just the same.

We might end up
fooled just the same.


Italy has 60 million inhabitants,

but only 6000 public toilets.

So there's one toilet
per 10000 residents.

Clean those once a day,

and each person
needs to clean

a public toilet
only once every 30 years.

Makes sense.

Not taking
robotic work into account!

We've done it!

Paradise on earth!

Why is she following us?

That's her blind spot.

But what will we
do without the monk?

Every revolution
requires a sacrifice.

They'll put up a
memorial to him in Italy.

Didn't I tell you?

The birds were right!

How Communism is beautiful!

How Communism is beautiful!

Just like in the prophecy!

Look at the fields jubilating,
freed from the weight of Capital!

No private property
could ever be as beautiful!

No private property
could ever be as beautiful!

The first Comrade!

See, Camille?
All of them communists.

He's an anarcho-syndicalist,
he wears black and red.

Let's make sure.

Excuse me, Comrade,

are you a communist
or an anarcho-syndicalist?

He feels offended
by your suspicion!

Why's the terminology
so tricky?

I suggest we stay here.

She just doesn't get it.

She just doesn't get it.

It belongs to everyone.

Which implies some duties.

We must make ourselves useful.

I'll look after the sheep.

I'll set up an
anarchistic comic book library.

I'll set up an
anarchistic comic book library.

Not very orthodox,

but we will need hard currency

to finance the world revolution.

We'll build ourselves
a cottage here.

Everyone will have
a room of his own.

I'll cook up mussels
with truffles every night!

The welcoming committee!

Get off my property, scum!

Get off my property, scum!

A misunderstanding.

She thinks we're

Seems there's still big landowners
refusing collectivization.

Man is an enigma.

See, Camille? The red flag!

Here's the proof:

Stalin prohibited Suprematist art,

here it's attached
to every lamp-post!

The food hand-out!

Hello Comrade!

Long live the revolution!

What's that?

Are you kidding me?

What did he say?

You're not a good anarchist!

Get off, crook!

This is collective property!

Watch out, or I call the police!

Let them go!

Blessed the poor in spirit!

Don't you see
they're robbing me?

What's she saying?

The guy from the food hand-out
is a little funny in the head.

So we hope you get well soon!


Where's Camille?

She must have gone ahead.

Where might she have gone?

Let's first ask for the allocation
of a place to live,

then look for her.

This is private property,
you can't sleep here!

Hi dudes, looking for work?

Are you thinking
what I'm thinking?

The birds were lying.

Thank God!

It was all just a movie!

I was beginning to wonder.

I'll tell the prison guard.


you must let us go.

We're victims of a Bourgeois'
self-protective fantasy!

Shut up, ill-fated jailbird!

I've been with the monk
for some weeks now.

My punishment has
proved to be a blessing.

I'm trying
to be his worthy pupil.

There's still a lot I don't
understand, but a dog's more humble.

I'm ashamed of my arrogance;
I'm ashamed of my treason;

I'm ashamed of not trusting others,

of just projecting my desires
and fears onto them.

Now we're digging a tunnel
to rescue Hong and Sancho,

in order to make a communism
without communists together.

Perhaps it's not
so hard after all?