For a short time I worked in a home for emotionally disturbed children. It was too short to understand the problems, but more than enough to see it as nightmarish
We are quickly introduced to Benni, a nine year old who soon starts screaming. We learn she had a traumatic experience that involves touching her face that among other triggers results in a screaming fit. There are many episodes triggered by very little conflict.
She has been sent to foster homes and institutions, but at each one she has worn out her supervisors. Michi is hired as a school escort and has had success with young troublesome boys. At first he is treated the same as all other caretakers, but at an isolated camp she becomes attached to him, however he is starting to regret his decision. The film does not end with resolution, but illustrates the difficulties in trying to protect some children against themselves.
This award winning film, also nominated for an Oscar had an outstanding cast and crew.
Nora Fingscheidt was both director and writer. German born with 10 film credits including one American film, "The Unforgivable" (2021) starring Sandra Bullock. Prior to this she had only done documentaries and one of them involved a home for homeless women where she encountered a system crasher, 14 years old. She spent five years researching and decided to focus on a pre puberty girl, although most system crashers were older and male.
John Gurtler composed the music. He has 49 film credits.
Yunus Roy Imer was the cinematographer with 20 credits. At a few occasions a Hand held camera helped to create a dizzying effect.
3 Editors are listed. Stephan Bechinger has 20 film credits including "The Unforgivable" (2021). Julia Kovalenko had 15 film credits. Iman Rohini with a variety of credits including for "About Elly" (2009) as editor, "The Theory of Everything" (2014) for costume design and "The Big Short" (2015) as a musician.
Helena Zengel played Benni which won her many awards. She had learned to ride a horse at age 4 which was needed for"News of the World" (2020) with Tom Hanks.
Albrecht Schuch plays Michi. He has 29 film credits including "Berlin Alexanderplatz" (2020) and "All Quiet on the Western Front" (2022) winning German Film Awards for both as well as for "System Crasher".
Matthias Brenner played a staff caretaker. He has 105 previous film credits including the Oscar winner, "The Lives of Others" (2006).
This film is available on Netflix. If you have the stomach an interesting viewing.
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