Synopsis by Mark Deming
A woman makes a terrible mistake, and discovers the consequences are greater than she imagined in this drama from Germany. Sylvia Mattis (Judith Engel) is a woman who married single father Josef (Horst-Günter Marx) and suddenly found herself stepmother to two often difficult children, Lea (Sophie Charlotte Conrad) and Konstantin (Leonard Bruckmann). One day, while driving home with the kids after a long day of errands and shopping, Sylvia snaps and stops the car by the side of the road, where makes the children get out before driving on. Before long, Sylvia comes to her senses, but when she retraces her steps back to where she left the kids, she can find no sign of them. Lea and Konstantin, meanwhile, have made their way to a public comfort station, where Kuba (Miroslaw Baka), who delivers supplies, finds them and takes them home. While the children are safe in his care, Kuba wants to see them returned to their family as soon as possible. However, when he discovers how upset Sylvia has become, and how desperately she wants to hide her wrongdoing from her husband, Kuba realizes this is a situation that can be manipulated to his advantage. Milchwald was screened in competition at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival.