System Crasher

Systemsprenger © Kineo Film, Yunus Roy Imer

Director: Nora Fingscheidt | Screenplay: Nora Fingscheidt | Cinematography: Yunus Roy Imer | Cast: Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Lisa Hagmeister, Maryam Zarée, Tedros Tecelbrhan | Production Company: kineo Filmproduktion Peter Hartwig (Potsdam Babelsberg), Weydemann Bros. (Berlin/ Köln) in Co-Produktion mit Oma Inge Film (Hamburg) und ZDF – Das kleine Fernsehspiel (Mainz)  | Germany | Year: 2019 | Length: 125 min. | German with English subtitles | Drama

Bernadette - or Benni, as she wants to be called - (Helena Zangel)  is considered aggressive and unpredictable. She is a "system crasher". That's what children are called that consistently break all rules and refuse to follow all structures – and slowly but surely fall through the cracks of the German child protection services. Wherever the nine-year-old is taken in, she gets kicked out again after a short time. And that's exactly what Benni wants, for her only desire is to be returned to her mother (Lisa Hagmeister), a woman thoroughly incapable of dealing with the unpredictability of her own daughter. Finally, when no solution is in sight and there is apparently no place left to send Benni, the anger-management trainer Micha (Albrecht Schuch) tries to free her from her spiral of anger and aggression.

SYSTEM CRASHER is Nora Fingscheidt's first feature film. She spent five years researching and writing her screenplay. During those years, she lived or worked in group homes, a special education school, an emergency youth shelter, and a child psychiatric ward. She also conducted in-depth discussions with the employees of institutions and offices, as well as child and adolescent psychiatrists.

Awards (Selection):

German Film Awards 2020: Best Feature Film (Gold), Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Leading Actor, Best Editing, Best Sound Design
Bayerischer Filmpreis 2020: Best Production
European Film Awards 2019: Best Soundtrack

Nora Fingscheidt 

was born in 1983 in Braunschweig and spent her school years in Germany and Argentina. As of 2003, she was involved in the establishment of filmArche, the self-organised film school in Berlin, even as she concurrently trained as an acting coach. From 2008 to 2017, she studied direction at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg. With SYNCOPE, her second-year film project, she was nominated for the German Short Film Award. She participated in the workshop of the Berlinale Talent section in 2012, and then completed her directorial studies with the documentary film WITHOUT THIS WORLD, which among other awards won the Max Ophüls Award in 2017. For SYSTEM CRASHER, Nora Fingscheidt was honoured with the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2019 Berlinale, an award for filmic works "that open up new perspectives of film art".

The film is the true miracle of this year's Berlinale. It isn't a sensation, isn't a spectacle, isn't just a great film; no, it's a miracle. How is a film like this one possible? A total work of art: the rhythm, the images, the colours. And how did the director get that physical force out of Helena Zengel, who plays Benni? It is a film that can never be adequately caressed by words. You need to see it.

Die Welt


This film is breathless – and deeply touching in its moments of hope. It reveals how much work and dedication is required to save a child that is apparently lost.

ARD / Titel, Thesen, Temperamente


Film screening
20 November 2020, 3:30pm
Cinema Akil, Dubai

20 November 2020, 3:30pm

Cinema Akil