Foto: Stephan Rabold © teamWorx
It is impossible to forget the images from the 24th August 1992 when, in the eastern German city of Rostock, a rampaging mob, to the applause and cheering of more than 3,000 bystanders, besieged and set fire to a residential building containing, among others, more than 120 Vietnamese men, women and children on what has since become known as "The Night Of The Fire."
The riots became a symbol for xenophobia in the just recently reunited Germany.
"We are Young. We are Strong." recounts the incident from the perspectives of three very different characters. Lien is a Vietnamese woman who settled in Germany, but at the end of the day she will be fighting for her life wondering if the place she called home could ever be one for her. Stefan and his friends are part of the night's violent turmoil. Young and angry, bored during the daytime, they look forward to the nightly riots and clashes with the police and foreigners. Unable to cope with his grief at the loss of a friend, Stefan gets lost in a circle of violence. Stefan's father Martin is an ambitious local politician, trapped in a dilemma: does he advance his career or stand up for his ideals and take responsibility, which includes that for his son?
Foto: Jan Rasmuss Voss © Sony Pictures Releasing
Gifted hacker Benjamin is an outsider who only feels at home in the virtual reality. When he makes the acquaintance of charismatic Max, he gets the chance to demonstrate his talent to a wider audience: Max introduces Benjamin to the hacker collective CLAY (Clowns Laughing At You), which he runs with his friends Stephan and Paul. Eschewing political goals, they want to grab attention with fun guerilla actions. Yet as they increasingly gain popularity in the web community, the young hackers become more and more daring. Eventually, they are targeted by the authorities – and suddenly Benjamin is the most-wanted hacker in the world.
Foto: Christian Redl © CWP-Film
Based on the eponymous novel by Otfried Preußler, the film tells the story of poor, young orphan Krabat, who roams the German woods at the end of the 30-year war. Lonely and lost, he follows a frightening call, which leads him to an old mill. It is inhabited by a mysterious master and his eleven apprentices. Krabat, as it soon turns out, is destined to become the twelfth disciple of the master. During his stay, Krabat becomes best friends with Tondra, who lets him in on the dark secret surrounding the mill and the master himself. Over time, Krabat is trained in black magic – and realizes its inherit danger. When he falls in love with a girl, he has to hide his relationship from the master, leading to a confrontation which puts Krabat to the ultimate test.
© SiMa Film 2010
Growing up in a Palestinian refugee camp, the 14-year-old Ali Messalam learned to hate Jews at an early age. After escaping Lebanon, he and his family end up in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Here, he tries to fit in and longs for nothing more than to be accepted by his fellow Arab youths. But to gain this recognition, he has to prove himself. In a test of courage, he breaks into the apartment of his Russian neighbor Alexander Zamskoy, an 84-year-old Jewish WWII veteran. But Ali’s “friends” follow him into the apartment and vandalize the old man’s home with abandon. Alexander only recognizes Ali when he returns home earlier than expected and reports him to the police. To avoid being sentenced and deported, Ali is forced to seek out closeness to his enemy…
"Kaddish for a friend" is a tragicomic story about friendship, trust and the art of forgiveness.
Foto: Maria Krumwiede © Beta Cinema
Based on real events, "Der ganz große Traum" tells the story of young teacher Konrad Koch, who starts working in a preppy school in Braunschweig in 1874. Koch is teaching English, but the subject doesn′t interest his pupils at first. Therefore, Koch employs unusual methods in order to gain their attention for all things British: He introduces them to a popular sport, which is the craze in England, but unknown in Germany – football. His new approach works with the youngsters, but causes dismay among his conservative colleagues and the elitist parents. They try to get rid off the unorthodox educator, but have underestimated the commitment of the schoolboys.
On 10 September, 1964, Germany’s one-millionth "guest worker" was welcomed. Spanning a period of no less than forty-five years, this film by sisters Yasemin Samdereli (director) and Nesrin Samdereli (screenplay) tells the story of guest worker number one-million-and-one – a man named Hüseyin Yilmaz and his family. "Who or what am I – German or Turk?" asks six-year-old Cenk Yilmaz when neither his Turkish nor his German schoolmates pick him for their respective football teams.
In an attempt to comfort Cenk, his 22-year-old cousin Canan tells him the story of their grandfather Hüseyin, who came to Germany at the end of the sixties as a "guest worker" and who later brought his wife and children to "Almanya". Germany had long since become the family’s home when without warning one night, Hüseyin surprises his loved ones with the news that he has bought a house in Turkey and now wants to return to the old country. Refusing to brook the slightest opposition, the entire family set off for Turkey. This marks the beginning of a journey full of memories, arguments and reconciliations – until, that is, the family trip takes an unexpected turn…
The young filmmakers have plundered their own memories of childhood and youth for this, their cinematic debut. Yasemin Samdereli: "Even at an early age, we were always struck by the way people found it amusing whenever we told them stories about our childhood: that Nesrin for instance once played German carnival figure ‘Funkenmariechen’ and used to belt out Catholic hymns fervently during mass. Or that I used to play the flute in a marching band and wrote my name Jasmin – until my second grade teacher torpedoed my attempts to hoodwink her."