The Friend (Fremder Freund)

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An international tragedy may confirm a man's worst fears about one of his friends in this drama from Germany. Chris (Antonio Wannek) is a college student in Berlin who becomes roommates and later close friends with Yunes (Navid Akhavan), a Muslim who was born in Yemen but has spent most of his life in Germany and seems perfectly comfortable there. To Chris, Yunes seems like an easygoing regular guy until a bad breakup with his girlfriend. Feeling heartbroken and betrayed, Yunes starts spending time with fellow Muslims from a student group, and after taking a casual attitude toward his faith most of his life, Yunes begins growing a beard, studying the Koran, and moving away from the Western style of life. Chris is puzzled by Yunes' new attitudes, but even more confused when, after a journey to Pakistan, Yunes' personality takes a dramatic shift in the other direction, as he begins drinking heavily, chasing anything in a skirt, and generally turning his back on Muslim traditions. On November 6, 2001, Yunes disappears, and five days later terrorists stage a devastating attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. Chris becomes deeply concerned, and begins to wonder if Yunes may have somehow been involved in the attack, as were other Muslims in Berlin. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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