aStrokes of fate have taken their toll on the ageing cabaret singer Ruth and the seriously ill young Jonas. Yet despite their great age difference and their entirely opposite lifetime experiences, they form an intense bond and give each other a reason and purpose to live. 

Auf das Leben!, which translates into English as To Life! and into Hebrew as L’Chaim!, the celebrated Jewish toast, is the unashamedly Harold-and-Maude-like story of two very unlikely individuals. Starring the grande dame of German cinema, Hannelore Elsner, and Max Riemelt, one of the most acclaimed young stars of German and international films. 

The ageing cabaret singer Ruth is a sarcastic but very warm-hearted woman, who despite her traumatic childhood has both feet planted firmly in the midst of life. It is only when her apartment is foreclosed, along with her musical instrument workshop, that her flame flickers and pales. Jonas, meanwhile, is 29 and lives in a minibus after splitting up with his girlfriend. Fighting the first signs of serious illness, he has given up his employment training scheme and, fully aware he is heading down a one-way street, seeks distraction in an excessive lifestyle. A brief encounter between the two quickly becomes a deep bond.  Soon they are not afraid to adopt even the most unusual measures and to help each other back on their feet…

Key Information

  • Format                                   Fiction
  • Year of Production                 2013
  • Duration                                01:26:00
  • Country of origin                   Germany
  • Produced by                           CCC Filmkunst GmbH
  • Intended Distribution             Made for Cinema
  • Intended Audiences              General Audience

Cast & Crew

  • Director                                 Uwe Janson
  • Key Talent                              Hannelore Elsner, Max Riemelt, Sharon Brauner, Aylin Tezel, Andreas Schmidt,
    Catherine Flemming, Mathieu Carrière, Markus Maria Profitlich
  • Producer                                Alice Brauner.
  • Coproducer                            Michael Zechbauer/MZ-Film GmbH
  • Writer                                    Thorsten Wettcke
  • Director Photography            Peter Joachim Krause


  • Fiction/Drama

Language versions

  • OriginalGerman
  • Sub titleEnglish

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