Film / Im Juli

Im Juli (English: In July) is a 2000 German-Turkish-Hungarian Road Trip Plot directed by Fatih Akin, starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Christiane Paul.

Daniel Bannier is a young teacher in-spe, who in contrast to everyone else plans to stay in Hamburg for the summer. Juli, a girl at the flea-market, wants to get to know Daniel and manages to sell him a Mayan ring with a sun on it, foretelling him that he will meet a girl with a sun. A short time later he meets the beautiful Melek (Idil Üner), but unfortunately she has to leave the next day. One day later Daniel is already on his way across Europe to be in Istanbul under the bridge on the day Melek will be there. It seems to him the prophecy came true somehow...

This film provides examples of:

  • Arc Symbol: The recurring sun symbol:
    • The film opens with the solar eclipse of 1999, an event in which the sun and the moon cross paths.
    • The Sun emblem on Daniel's ring.
    • When Daniel first meets Melek she is wearing a T-shirt with a big sun symbol.
    • Daniel crosses paths with Luna (Branka Katić), whose name means "moon", and suffers the consequences.
    • Juli is the German name for July, a sunny month. She also has a sun tattoo on her lower back.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Hilariously subverted. Daniel, a physics teacher, does some calculations in the sand, drives the car off the ramp, and sails through the air... only to land in the middle of the river.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The physics lesson in the film's opening. Later Daniel uses that piece of math for his car jump across the river. Unfortunately, his estimate in river distance was a bit off.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Occurs a few times, for instance when Juli wants to set up a date by telling Daniel that he will meet a girl with a sun (like the one tattooed on her back), and then he meets Melek, who just happens to wear a T-shirt with a sun. And then when a dejected Juli decides to hitch a ride anywhere on the first car to pick her up to get away from Hamburg, and then the first car to stop is driven by Daniel.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Fatih Akin appears as a Romanian border official.
  • Credits Montage: The closing credits show stills of the actors alongside their names.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The entire plot is built on this trope.
    "Dearest of my heart, I traveled thousands of miles. I crossed rivers, moved mountains. I suffered and endured torment. I resisted temptation and I followed the sun to stand before you and to say: I love you."
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: Their journey takes Daniel and Juli through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, showing a brief panorama of the southern part of the former Eastern Bloc ten years after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
  • Hamburg: Just because the film takes the protagonists all across Europe does not mean Fatih Akin won't linger a bit in the beginning to show you what a great place Hamburg, and in particular Altona, the neighborhood where he lives, is in the summer. When Daniel takes Melek out for a beach picknick on the Elbe, it's enough to make her burst into song!
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with a scene chronologically towards the end of the movie. Therein Daniel tells the story of how he ended up in that remote place to Isa, the man he hitches a ride from (Mehmet Kurtuluş).
  • I Resemble That Remark:
    Daniel: Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
    Waiter: Nein.
  • The Man in the Moon: A female example. Daniel has a short hallucination sequence after drinking the drugged beverage served by Luna. In this sequence his bus travels across the night sky while the full moon shows Luna's face watching the bus passing by.
  • Meaningful Name: Melek is "Angel" in Turkish.
  • Photo Montage/Travel Montage: The journey across Romania is portrayed entirely through still shots — not by choice, but because the Romanian government denied their shooting permit.
  • Poison Ring: Used by Luna to drug Daniel.
  • Race for Your Love: The Movie.
  • Ramp Jump: The film scores extra points for having the jump attempted by a physics teacher who was previously seen putting this exact problem on the blackboard as an exercise. He still fails, because he has only an estimate of the width of the river to go on.
  • Road Trip Romance: Develops between Daniel and Juli.
  • Slipping a Mickey: The drugged coke Daniel is being served by Luna.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Popular sound clip of giggling kids used during the travel photo montage.