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Rated NR · 111 minutes · 2002


A pair of couples in thier late 30s experience life in the small German burg of Frankfurt-Oder (near the Polish border) while struggling to make ends meet in this character driven comedy drama from director Andreas Dresen. Caterer Uxe (Axel Prahl) makes his meager living out of a small business located halfway up the stairs (which also serves as the literal English translation of the title) as the viewers bear witness to his daily struggles via cast-improvised scenes and by interviews with the main characters intercut with the narrative. Meanwhile, a pair of running gags concerning depressed DJ 'Magic' Chris (Thorsten Merten) and a band named 17 Hippies serve to lighten the mood of this Mike Leigh-influenced effort that was shot on digital-video.~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Director: Andreas Dresen
Writer: Andreas Dresen
Cast: Steffi Kühnert, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Thorsten Merten, Axel Prahl, Janko Brett, Miro De Vittoris, Knut Elstermann and Carmen Engler

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