An Extraordinary Film Project
At first glance, this isnt the sort of film one would associate
with Munich---a place supposedly without poverty. But ghettokids shows
us a whole new side of the city. Young, amateur actors from a problem
area known as Hasenbergl appear alongside such well-known
German performers as Barbara Rudnik and Günther Maria Halmer. And
it is precisely this combination that gives the film its gripping authenticity.
ghettokids tells the story of two brothers: Maikis (Toni Osmani) and Christos
(Ioannis Tsialas). They live together with their older brother and their
mother in a one-room flat in Hasenbergl. The family had emigrated from
Greece years ago in the hope that in Germany everything would be better.
But their living conditions are crowded, money is scarce and their homeland
is far, far away. Both boys deal in drugs and Christos sells his body
as well. Whats more, theyre both Turkish-speaking Greeks and
this makes them outsiders even among the Turkish youths in the special
school for foreigners they attend. Next to the Hasenbergl, their homes
away from home are the Main Railway Station, the subway and a youth
centre which is run by the social worker Xaver (Günther Maria Halmer).
Its at the railway station that they have their first encounter
with Hanna Solinger (Barbara Rudnik). She is a teacher and is moving from
Hamburg to Munich with her children. While she is unloading her luggage
from the train, Christos steals her wallet, little knowing that the next
morning she will be standing in front of him as his new teacher. Hanna
Solingers new job wont be an easy one, because the whole class
is determined to shock any new teacher so thoroughly and so quickly that
shell never come back again.
The story comes to a head when Maikis becomes involved in the attack of
a Turkish gang on some subway passengers and gets arrested for a theft
that (for once) he hadnt committed.
ghettokids was produced by TV60Film (Bernd Burgemeister) for the Bayerischer
Rundfunk in co-production with Arte for broadcast on Germanys Channel
1. The script is by Gabriela Sperl.. It is based on extensive research
and was inspired by Susanne Korbmacher-Schulz and her experiences with
a youth group she founded, ghettokids - Soziale Projekte e. V.
ghettokids was directed by award winning Christian Wagner and the cameraman
was the well known Jürgen Jürges.