Jonathan (2016)

  • Year: 2016
  • Released: 06 Oct 2016
  • Country: Germany
  • Adwords: 11 wins & 4 nominations
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: German
  • MPA Rating: Unrated
  • Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
  • Runtime: 99 min
  • Writer: Piotr J. Lewandowski, Agnieszka Piwowarska, Finn-Ole Heinrich
  • Director: Piotr J. Lewandowski
  • Cast: Jannis Niewöhner, André Hennicke, Julia Koschitz
  • Keywords: secret love, love triangle, family secrets, unrequited love, male homosexuality, rural area,

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Chinese BG codesubtitle 约纳坦 Jonathan.2016.BLURAY.REMUX.1080p.BluRay.【231218】CHS

Jonathan Movie Reviews

Missing the point

I liked this movie. Some say it moved slowly, but considering the story it tells, that is appropriate. It is a young man’s attempt to know the story about his parents, one of whom he has never known, and the other who is now dying.

Some of the reviews here are complaining that it celebrated homophobia, and/or minimized the gay story line, or that it isn’t truly a gay story at all. I disagree. The gay characters might be secondary to the primary character, but it’s a gay story in how those secondary characters affect the primary character, and the impact they have had on him. This is about a young man caring for his dying father, who never knew his mother, and doesn’t understand why his father refuses to talk about her, knowing that time is running out for him to learn anything about his mother. His reaction and frustration are normal.

This is not celebrating homophobia; it is demonstrating how it impacts people and causes them to do unintentionally cruel actions; it is demonstrating the damage that homophobia does. I thought it gave a realistic portrayal of a man who lived his life in the closet but was determined not to die there. Is it so surprising that his son would be stunned at learning the truth about his parents? This wasn’t about the son being homophobic, it was about his very reasonable and understandable sense of betrayal, learning that he had been told lies about his parents, for his entire life… and while his one remaining parent is in the throes of dying. Who wouldn’t be shocked and frantic and angry at such a time? This was hardly celebrating homophobia; it was demonstrating its effects.

No need for secrets

I don’t want to be too critical because this is a foreign language film in a foreign language I’m not that versed in. But it seemed to me that Jonathan moved at a snail’s pace and about a third of it could have been cut.

Hunky jock type Jannis Niewohner is in the title role, in America we’d say he was an All American kid. He’s working the family farm which doesn’t look any different from one in our mid west heartland with his father, taking on more and more responsibility because dad is dying of skin cancer. He’s also got an aunt eyeing him like a slab of meat and he does give her a prime cut.

Now that he’s dying dad played by Andre Hennicke decides to come out to him. The love of his life was Thomas Sarbacker who now that he’s dying sees no need for secrets. He moves on in and that sure upsets the young man and the household.

I’ve seen this played out in all cultures. Back in the day gay was verboten over there and Hennicke married a woman for convention’s sake. Not all that different from Brokeback Mountain.

A nice story, a necessary one, but the pace was way too slow.

This is what i call a tear jerking movie!

What a heartbreaking, soul-stirring and touching masterpiece. This movie drove me to tears, literally, It’s a roller coaster of feelings. a German dramatic perfection about love, closure, family secrets and forgiveness and the most beautiful thing about it is its realism, this is not your typical drama. It starts with the story of a boy living and taking care of his dying dad on their farm with his absently present aunt, yet the situation can’t but escalate as an old friend comes in and the shadows of the past start to surface and truths get told. We get through the agonizing lives of this characters living at what seemed like a simple life at first, a life that’s mostly built on lies causing big wounds for everyone especially Jonathan the protagonist, whom I admire a lot because, as long as these heavy secrets unfold he stood and was always there for his father, shut I won’t say more I don’t want to spoil the story. This movie is a mosaic about family, forgiveness, and love and if there’s one thing you will learn it’s that family can overcome everything and it’s never too late to make things right and find love even on the bed of death plus the end is very gratifying and warming so prepare the tissues.