Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
The directors and writers of Raindrops (the name of a popular German song) are Harry Raymon who lived through the experiences dramatized in the film, and Michael Hoffman who grew up after WW II and wanted to know what it was like for Jews before the war started. When Raymon started telling Hoffman his own story, the two decided to make the narration into a semi-documentary film. The story begins in the early 1930s as the Goldbach family, owners of a textile business, see their customers thinning out and associates shunning them; their little son Benny is also ostracized at the playground. This clear message convinces them to emigrate to America before it is too late. They have an Aunt living in the U.S. who will sponsor them, and they can apply for a visa at the American Consulate in Stuttgart - but not that easily. First, they must learn some English and make a stronger case for their application, so they sell their business and move to Cologne, where they can study English. While in Cologne, they reside in cramped quarters with other Jewish families, fear, apprehension, and tempers building as they know full well how difficult it will be to get a visa, and how menacing the future is. Benny wiles away some time by going to the movies, but then that pasttime is cut off when Jews are no longer allowed inside the cinema. Once preparations are completed, the Goldbach's drama unfolds in visits to the American Consulate, where visa applications are refused time and time again for the flimsiest of reasons, or for reasons that were far from legal. The Goldbachs complete the difficult physical exams demanded by the Consulate and wait for the response to their application, fearful of the consequences if they are denied, like so many others.