// Presented as a Special Screening of October's Teenage Wasteland Series //
Spotlight on Sanctuary
Marc Brummund / Germany, 2015 / Baden-Baden, Beijing, Bogotá, Giffoni, Göteborg, Pyongyang, Shanghai, Stockholm, Tbilisi, Tripoli, Zlín / 92'
The late-sixties in Germany represent a new era of freedom and revolutions of sex, music and culture. Yet following a confrontation with his step-father, the rebellious fourteen-year-old Wolfgang is sent to Freistatt, a foster home for difficult children. Once there, Wolfgang resists the brutal working conditions and education methods of the wardens. But for how long can he manage to withstand a system of violence and oppression that seems so at odds with the rest of society?
Marc Brummund's feature film debut holds a lens to the stark realities of the foster system, and its effect on the nascent masculinity of Germany's forgotten boys. Sanctuary premiered at Baden-Baden, Beijing and Göteborg, and won the Golden Lola, Germany's equivalent of the Oscar, for Best Screenplay.
"Approximately 800,000 children and adolescents were admitted to homes in West Germany between 1949 and 1975, according to the Home Care Fund of the Ministry of Family Affairs. As opposed to ecclesiastical institutions in which clergy looked after the children, the educational concept of these homes was based on drill, discipline and submission, even by physical violence... Freistatt's images settle deeper in the mind and the gut of the audience than would a documentary, communicating inner and outer resistance possibilities... Not only is the film's topic socially important and too little discussed; Freistatt is worth seeing because these feelings are important, too"
- Film Review, Die Zeit