Joya Thome: Queen of Niendorf

Girl sitting on a bale of straw © Joya Thome: Königin von Niendorf

Wed, 21.07.2021

7:00 PM

Goethe-Institut London

Goethe-Kino at the Goethe-Institut Cinema

School is out for the summer in Niendorf, a small village in Brandenburg, south of Berlin. Normally 10-year old Lea would join her girlfriends to go to summer camp. But lately they have been acting so strangely that Lea isn’t really keen to pass the holidays with them. Instead her attention is focused on a gang of boys and their activities by the lake. Joining them would be far more interesting, but the boys don’t want girls in their gang. Yet, Lea persists and no test of courage can phase her.

First shown at the Max Ophüls Film Festival for German language films by young directors, this modest, undramatic film has charmed many critics and viewers. Though it is through Lea’s eyes that we experience what the gang is up to and what goes on with a couple of the otherwise largely absent adults, this is not just a film for children. It is a film for all those that enjoy drifting through the day, aimlessly roaming through fields, observing a beetle or diving into the deep end of the local pool. A film for those that enjoy to watch a determined girl slowly becoming a queen without making the slightest fuss about it.

Please note that this is the screening in the cinema of the Goethe-Institut and NOT the online screening.

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Portrait of a woman © UCM.One Born in 1990, Joya Thome, is the daughter of director Rudolf Thome, in whose films she appeared as a teenager (Red and Blue, 2003; Woman Driving, Man Sleeping, 2004; Smoke Signs, 2006). These early experiences on set, she has said, made her want to become a filmmaker herself. Yet instead of enrolling in a film school, she studied educational and social sciences. At the same time she worked in different capacities on film productions, including as assistant director, and she began to shoot her own shorts (e.g. Hätte der Mond auch Schokolade geweint; 2010, Geschwister, 2012; Love, Yesterday, 2012-14). (source: In an interview she shared some information about the making of the film: “During the shooting, we lived for four weeks on my father's farm, which can be seen in the film as the farm of Mark Wagenburg. Having spent countless weekends there during my childhood, I was very familiar with the farm and the entire village. With a budget of only 20,000 Euros, we were able to bring this story to life with the tireless support of the people of Niendorf. "(Source: press material on the film)

Germany 2017, colour, 67 mins. With English subtitles
Directed by Joya Thome. With Lisa Moell, Denny Moritz Sonnenschein, Salim Fazzani, Ivo Tristan Michligk, Moritz Riek, Elias Sebastian, Mex Schlüpfer, Sophia Kluge