Der Mauerbande (1981)

Run Time - 62 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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This is the third children's feature to appear in 1981 from director Dieter Koester with the assistance of his wife, Hannelore Conradsen-Koester, and unlike the other two features, this story was made for television. A group of youngsters in their pre-teen years are thrown together simply by the fact that they live in the same neighborhood in West Berlin, unique in that it is surrounded by the Berlin Wall on three sides. All the kids in the group are from working-class families struggling to keep their heads above water -- and so the art of survival is definitely passed on from parent to child. In spite of the economic hardships they share, one has been able to get a Super-8 film camera and starts to shoot interesting neighborhood scenes, from the local subway station to graffiti on the Wall. This and other activities often get them into trouble, though most of the trouble consists of being chased and not getting caught by people like customs guards, conductors on the subway, and similar authority figures. Their antics stand in high relief against the Wall erected by their elders, a divider that is taken as a part of the landscape like everything else.



childhood-adventures, friendship, poverty, survivor, working-class