Kinder Der Landstrasse (1992)

Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - Austria, Germany, Switzerland  |  
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It's easy to get comfortable indulging in righteous indignation at the cultural genocide the American government and religious organizations attempted with that country's Native populations, but when one learns of a new outrage committed by the usually innocuous Swiss, it puts the situation in a whole new light. In this case, a private foundation was established with full governmental support which had as its avowed purpose the removal of gypsy children from their families and culture at an early age so that they might be brought up in a "decent, settled, and civilized manner." That was in 1927. When the population of Switzerland learned of the organization in 1977, to their credit, they were horrified -- and it was immediately disbanded. By then, hundreds of children had been legally abducted from their families. In this movie, a girl who was raised in this manner from the age of five but was constantly reminded of her disreputable background has finally reached child-bearing age. To her dismay, her child too is removed from her by this well-meaning organization. As a consequence, she is forced to kidnap her own child and flee across the border.