Things I learnt from the movies…Was Tun Wenn’s Brennt

I thoroughly enjoy movies that are not the typical mainstream Hollywood setting or a cliché topic. Was Tun Wenn’s Brennt (What to do in Case of Fire) (2001) is one of those.

What’s this German movie about? During the 80s, 6 anti-establishment anarchists place a bomb into an upper-class area of Berlin. 12 years later, 4 of the 6 have moved on to a life very different to what they led back in their youth. And…the bomb detonates.

The problem with all of this, is that the investigating officer seems to recall this group of activists and has a suspicion the bomb is theirs. The other problem is that the 2 who haven’t moved on with their lives still have evidence of them making said bomb. And this finds its way into the evidence room of a police station which just happens to be found in old military barracks. That’s all I’ll let on…you need to do the watching now.

Don’t fear though, this isn’t a heavy one (IMDB classifies it as Action, Drama, Comedy). Yes, it does have its moments to ponder but complements them with lighter ones.

What did I learn from this refreshingly different movie? Here you are:

  1. Don’t keep incriminating evidence from your former wild days.
  2. Don’t let said evidence in point 1 fall into the hands of the police.
  3. I really didn’t know that a bus could be tipped onto its side by a handful of people. Or is it just in the movies?
  4. Children’s wooden building blocks are perfect for plotting out evidence retrieval plans.
  5. You can booby trap an apartment block stairwell to avoid the landlord collecting long overdue rent.

But…on a slightly more serious note:

  1. Actions that you think are part of a greater cause when you are a youngster (or even older) and that you think have “gone away” or are long forgotten may very well come back to haunt you.
  2. Things you do for your own beliefs may impact others directly with dire consequences.
  3. You cannot hold onto the past…the world moves on, you need to move forwards with it.
  4. No matter how successful you become, one small incident from your past can bring everything crashing down. Even if you are now a successful attorney, businessman or responsible parent.

Back to a lighter note:

  1. Friends stick together. And of those friends, one is going to attempt the heroic.
  2. Fire extinguishers make the most awesome foam fireworks when you hit them hard. And while that foam comes raining down all your troubles are forgotten for a while.
  3. Til Schweiger can actually act. I wish I could see more of him in these good roles.
  4. That, those wild youth, pictured below, may actually become attorneys, businessmen or parents.
  5. Those being anti-establishment may actually become part of the establishment.
  6. And just because I can: I learnt that Til Schweiger is damn sexy in leather pants.

Lesson learnt: What to do in case of fire? Let it burn! (You’ll understand when you watch it)

Directed by Gregor Schnitzler it stars Til Schweiger, Martin Feifel, Sebastian Blomberg, Nadja Uhl, Matthias Matschke and Doris Schretzmayer as the 6 friends. Klaus Löwitsch stars as the cop investigating the bombing.












  1. It’s probably also a good idea not to have a book in your library called “The Anarchist’s Cookbook” which describes how to make bombs. Which means I’m in BIG trouble if I ever come under suspicion in a bomb incident… Of course, in my defense I just got it to show me how to make pot brownies…:-)

    I have to look for this one. It sounds just counter culture enough to appeal to my interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You touched on something I’ve long wondered about: How many people does it take to tip over a bus? As you pointed out, they make it look so easy in the movies.

    This is a terrific essay – and a great review, because now you’ve got me jonesing to see this film. I quite liked the serious lessons you outlined. Very good advice for everyone, whether you’re an anarchist or not.

    Thanks for joining the blogathon, and for introducing us (me) to this film!

    Liked by 1 person

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