© Piffl Medien GmbH

Germany 2005

Opening 1 Sep 2005

Directed by: Hubertus Siegert
Writing credits: Hubertus Siegert

Twenty students attend a fifth grade class at Fläming School, Berlin. They are unique in that several are especially slow, several have physical and mental handicaps (one is practically immobile in a wheelchair), some are highly intelligent, some fit in well and others have inter-social problems. The purpose of this documentary, filmed in February 2005, was to demonstrate how the teacher, Gudrun Haase, and her colleagues taught such a diverse group and how the children benefited from each other. They produce a play called The Girl on Harry’s Street, play music, dance, do sports, and take trips, but they also write dictations, prepare speeches, learn arithmetic and receive report cards. By Hubertus Siegert, the film could inspire teachers to rethink their attitude to mixed classes as well as learn ideas for their own work, for which I think they must be highly qualified. At first glance it was never obvious which students were the slow ones because they all shone in some way. The film never shows the parents or home life, nor does it give sources for teaching materials. My favorite moments occurred throughout the film: one girl could not zip her jacket because of a physical handicap (one arm is very short). None of the teachers or children who tried to help her succeeded without a struggle, which shows that anyone can be “handicapped” under certain circumstances – in this case a really unwieldy zipper. (Becky Tan)

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