The winter holidays and dawn of the new year are usually times of community and self-reflection. We look back onto the waning year, considering the resolutions that weren’t kept, goals that weren’t accomplished, but try to confidently enter the new year grateful for that which did happen. We imagine how we might be able to make up for our shortcomings and make do with what we have. Unsurprisingly, it has become a popular German holiday tradition for communities and students to get together and collectively watch a film that speaks to these shared feelings and sentiments, all the while sharing a good laugh at familiar jokes. The film in question is Die Feuerzangenbowle (The Punch Bowl. dir. Helmut Weiss, 1944) and is emblematic of the sentimentality, nostalgia, and escapism many indulge in. The experience of watching the film with a crowd is oddly comparable to a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and, similarly to Rocky Horror, has cemented its status as a cult classic. Instead of throwing rice, stretching rubber gloves, and shooting water guns, crowds that go to see The Punch Bowl will raise a toast, set off alarm clocks, and shine flashlights synchronously with scenes in the film; all while, of course, quoting the film back to itself and drinking the infamous punch. All of this seems like harmless jubilation and an effective vehicle for catharsis and community engagement; that is, however, if you can remove the film out of its original context.