Morgen (2010)

  • Year: 2010
  • Released: 01 Oct 2010
  • Country: Romania, France, Hungary
  • Adwords: 12 wins & 13 nominations
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: Romanian, Hungarian
  • MPA Rating: N/A
  • Genre: Drama
  • Runtime: 100 min
  • Writer: Marian Crisan
  • Director: Marian Crisan
  • Cast: András Hatházi, Yilmaz Yalçin, Elvira Rimbu
  • Keywords:

Morgen Storyline

NELU, a man in his forties, works as a security guard at a supermarket in Salonta, a small town on the Romanian-Hungarian border. This is the place where many illegal emigrants try to cross, by any means possible, to Hungary and then further to Western Europe. For NELU, days go by the same. Fishing at dawn, then work, and finally home with his wife-FLORICA. They live alone at an isolated farmhouse on the fields outside Salonta. Their problem these days is repairing the old roof of the farmhouse. One morning, NELU will fish something different out of the river: a Turkish man trying to cross the border. Not able to communicate verbally, the two men will somehow understand each other. NELU takes the stranger to the farmhouse, gives him some dry clothes, food and shelter. He doesnt really know how to help this stranger. The Turkish man gives NELU all the money he has on him so he will help him cross the border. Eventually, NELU takes the money and promises he will help him cross the border tomorrow, MORGEN

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Morgen Movie Reviews

Border-hopping in Romania for dummies

This film is about a poor farmer called Nelu, who lives near the border with his wife Florica in a broken-down house. Nelu works as a mall security-guard, well-known and liked by the people in the town. But Nelu is bored with his life, and is very annoyed at the arrogant border-guards, who harass him whenever he has been across the border to catch fish.

One day when Nelu is fishing, a strange looking foreigner (presumably an immigrant from the area around Turkey or Afghanistan) comes running along the road, and hides under a bridge until the border-guards have passed. Nelu doesn’t tell them where he is, even though he’s standing right in front of him, and because of this, the illegal immigrant Behran feels an automatic bond with Nelu, even though they cannot understand each other, and persuades him to help him escape. Nelu thus takes Behran to his home, and has him living in the cellar for a while. His wife Florica doesn’t like this one bit, but Nelu convinces her that it is for the best, as Behran can help him do chores around the house, like fixing the roof, peeling potatoes, etc.

But as time goes along, it becomes apparent that having an illegal immigrant living in your house is not a long-term solution, and Nelu tries to get rid of Behran, helping him to escape to Northern Europe. But maybe Behran doesn’t want to escape anymore, as he has found a true friend in Nelu… and this is where Nelu’s troubles really begin!

Overall, I’ll give this film a 7/10, as it was very heart-warming and funny, but really didn’t have much progress throughout, and you quickly knew where the plot was going. The actors were great and had good chemistry, and the quirky humor worked excellent in this film.. now you definitely know what to do, and what NOT to do, if you ever stumble upon a runaway fugitive.

naive immigrant

This film is very interesting for someone is not familiar with old and current immigration laws’ fluctuations and amendments in Eastern Europe. The film describes so well how a naive immigrant apparently from Turkey or Bulgaria (in the movie he’s referred as “gypsy” later on his name is presumably known) eagerly wants or just needs to head to Germany. He even keeps Deutsche marks rather than Euros in a plastic bag plus local phone numbers there in Germany. This German wish, need or dream seems to keep him alive during his eventual trip without visa across Romania, Hungary, etc.. This guy finds a Romanian man (Nelu) who reacts as actually human being rather than such an immigrant-hunter when he sees the “gypsy” asking for something. Nelu then tries to understand the foreign language of this strange guy he finds by the river while fishing. Overall, the posture of some of the Romanian border patrol agents are also randomly tolerant towards the people crossing their border… either there’re still not strong regulations or, in that Romania it is just about the start of a strict migratory law or, the town where this “gypsy” guy is found is just too small that no one really cares about being so strict. Something strikes me about this movie is how naive and actually very fine the people mostly are. Although Nelu uses the money the gypsy gave him, Nelu using it for his own benefit doesn’t seem to exploit or to be rude with this new man in Nelu’s farm. The gypsy guy happens to be hard-working man, keeping that German wish he’s got as a hope, the reason to be diligent and helpful with those are being supportive with them. He follows instructions even though he doesn’t understand the language. He only needs to go to Germany somehow; I’m not sure he knows there’re borders between his start point to his dreamy final destination, that you may need visas and stuff to touch the country he dreams of… did he know? didn’t he know? was he by chance one of those truly naive guys needed to do something without the intention of breaking the law on purpose?

one of the early films about the European migrants problem

It’s only now that I had the opportunity to see Marian Crisan’s ‘Morgen’, a movie made in 2010. It’s a film about a Turkish migrant trying to make his way to Germany, the story happening a decade ago. At that time the problem of migrants in Europe existed but was far from the proportions it would reach a few years later. The political reactions that were to shake the entire political system within and between the countries of Europe were not yet visible. But something was preparing, cooking on low fire, as they say. ‘Morgen’ captures exactly that stage and is an interesting film from a documentary and human point of view, maybe one of the first films to tackle this issue in European cinema.

The story in the film takes place in Salonta, a small city in the border area between Romania and Hungary, near a the sleepy border crossing where Romanian and Hungarian customs officers share the same booth. It is, however, still the European Union’s border, which the Turk migrant Behran (Yilmaz Yalçin) cannot cross on his way to the Germany where he is supposed to reunite with his family. He finds refuge in the house of Nelu (András Hatházi), a security guard at a local supermarket. The film deals with the confused world of the Eastern Europe, for which the end of communism meant a freedom that people do not know how to use, while the economic situation has remained rather precarious. A strange relationship forms between the two men. Mistrust and prejudice are amplified by communication difficulties due to the language barrier. The Romanian assumes some risks of sheltering an illegal migrant and helping him to continue his journey in a Europe still divide for foreigners. However, he can not do otherwise, as he would violate a deeper and more powerful human code, older than laws and borders.

The story is simple up to the point that it seems linear and rather idealized. Still, the film manages to impress because of the performances of the two actors in the main roles and of the realism with which it describes the world in which the action takes place, its geographic and human landscape. It feels like we are more in the Balkans than in Europe, in a world where the law is not fully respected, but the prejudices are also not taken until their tragic conclusion. The cinematographic style belongs to the minimalist style of the Romanian ‘New Wave’, although the technical conditions of the film remind more the Romanian films of the last century – the image is not of the best quality, the sound sometimes makes the dialogs hard to understand even for a native Romanian speaker. However, the human message of the film remains actual today, when in Europe the physical walls and the walls of prejudice not only that they did not disappear but they became even higher.