2014, 96 min, Germany, Dir: Neele Leana Vollmar

At the heart of this adaptation of German author Andreas Steinhöfel’s wildly popular children’s book is 10-year-old Rico, the only child of a working-class single mother in Berlin. Although quick to describe himself as a “lowly gifted child” who can’t tell his left from his right and whose thoughts often “rattle around in his head like balls in a bingo cage,” Rico is compassionate and observant, and makes the best of his shortcomings. Often left on his own, Rico spends most of his time close to home or visiting the quirky tenants in his apartment building. One day Rico meets Oskar, a highly gifted younger boy who is obsessed with safety statistics and prone to wearing a helmet. Despite their differences, the two boys complement each other and become fast friends. When Oskar suddenly goes missing, Rico suspects notorious local kidnapper Mr. 2000 and sets out to find and rescue his new friend. With an emphasis on teamwork and friendship, Vollmar’s fresh and endearing take on the classic buddy film is suitable for the whole family. In German with English subtitles.

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