Opening 8 Jan 2009
Marcus H. Rosenmüller
Writing credits: Anna Maria Jokl, Christian Lerch, Marcus H. Rosenmüller
Principal actors: Markus Krojer, Dominik Nowak, Zoë Mannhardt, Benedikt Hösl, Thomas Wittmann
What is a movie without a script? One of the amazing aspects of this film by Marcus H. Rosenmüller and Christian Lerch lies in the story behind the film. The Jewish writer Anna Maria Joki wrote this book, 1937-1939, in Prague just after her escape from Berlin. The Nazis arrived in Prague forcing Joki to escape to Poland and then on to London. She entrusted her precious manuscript to someone who helped her escape. In 1948 her manuscript appeared and became a bestseller published by a DDR publishing house in Berlin. It is unclear how they acquired the book, but they then wanted to make a film out of it which brought Joki back to Berlin.
The story revolves around two classes in the school. Like every school, there are cliques with a group mentality and there are individuals who form their own ideas and stay with them despite the group pressure. Alexander (Markus Krojer) is stuck in between. On one side he wants to impress Lotta (Zoë Mannhardt) by winning a painting contest and in doing so borrows an antique book from a boy in the other class with the help of a new student Grube (Benedikt Hösl). Grube seizes the opportunity to take advantage of the situation, forcing Alexander to join his newly founded group which is putting down the other class and destroying his former friendships. These series of events darken Alexander’s path where it seems that there is no hope in sight. His web of lies has ensnared him so that the struggles for the truth require an enormous step of courage in order to break the spell.
This is a children’s film but because of its complex message the children should be 10 years and up. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)