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Kids (Kinder)

Directed by Nina Wesemann

  • Germany 2019; 77 min
  • Original version: German
  • Genre: Documentary


There is an age when children stand upon a threshold. Confronted with the adult world in a different way, they suddenly begin to enter into it. Whereas this often has a certain appeal, sometimes it is also a gamble.
Marie, Arthur, Emine, and Christian find themselves exactly on this threshold in their lives. The film accompanies them in this balancing act for an entire year.
Marie lives in a single-family house in a residential area on the outskirts of Berlin. When she is alone in the afternoons, she plays teacher or explores nearby empty houses that are destined to be torn down.
Arthur's favorite pastime is Minecraft. Or he talks to friends about Minecraft. For the rest of the time he offers to explain the meaning of senility to his two younger siblings. Emine and her girlfriends move through the streets of Neukölln singing, dancing, or recording videos. If it is not the city that belongs to them, their neighborhood definitely does. Christian has three older brothers. All of them cool, good-looking, funny. While they are his role models and best friends, he is often busy simply trying to keep up with them.
Four kids in Berlin who do not know each other but who share the same age and part of their destiny.

Director's Statement

For me, transitional situations have always been an exciting field in my documentary work. After moving to Berlin, and upon noticing kids as "transitional beings", it dawned on me that I did not have any insight into their world. Thus, I asked myself: What does their world look like and how is it different from my own reality?
During all phases of this project it was important to me to take my protagonists seriously and not to belittle them. I think it would generally be a good idea if our society met children more on eye level instead of trivializing or dominating them through multiple requirements.
Since I do not have children myself, years had passed since my last direct and intense encounters with them – actually since my own childhood. Generally speaking, at first they were vastly alien to me. Yet, this helped me to find an intuitive, neutral, and at the same time empathetic approach. Ultimately, what holds this film's different strands together in an attempt to address something expansive and wide-reaching is my vantage point, my attitude, and the way the kids and I met.
Meanwhile, I actually believe that instead of my selecting the children for the movie, that they chose me and my project.



    Nicole Leykauf