Berlinale Selection 2021
Mr Bachmann and his class

Scene from the film "Mr Bachmann and his class" – There are many guitars in the classroom. In the background three students are writing on the board. In the foreground a man is juggling three tennis balls. A student with his back towards the camera is observing him as he juggles.
© Madonnen Film GmbH


Where does one feel at home? In Stadtallendorf, a German city with a complex history of both excluding and integrating foreigners, genial teacher Dieter Bachmann offers his pupils the key to at least feeling as if they are at home. Aged between twelve and fourteen, these pupils come from twelve different nations; some have not quite mastered the German language. On the brink of retirement, Bachmann is eager to inspire these citizens-in-the-making with a sense of curiosity for a wide range of crafts, subjects, cultures and opinions.

Watching this absorbing, sensitive documentary, one is overwhelmed with the realisation that, if only all children were blessed with such emotionally intelligent, ever-patient educators, conflict would be mitigated via discussion and John Lennon’s “Imagine” could be our reality. Those who, like filmmaker Maria Speth and her cinematographer Reinhold Vorschneider, are able to recognise and highlight so beautifully not only the importance of education but also what a quietly spectacular process it can be, are heroes in their own right, too.

Directed by: Maria Speth
Screenplay: Maria Speth, Reinhold Vorschneider
Production: Maria Speth
Music: Oliver Göbel
Cinematography: Reinhold Vorschneider
Film editing: Maria Speth
Cast: Dieter Bachmann, Aynur Bal, Önder Cavdar, Schüler*innen der Klasse 6 b, Schüler*innen der Klasse 6 f


  • "Jury Prize" at the Berlinale 2021
  • Awarded the Audience Award "Best Competition Film" at the Berlinale Summer Special 2021



29, Diagoras Street
1097 Nicosia

Language: German with English and Greek subtitles
Price: Free admission

+357 22 674606
Part of series Berlinale Selection 2021