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System Crasher Systemsprenger

Nora Fingscheidt / Germany / 2019 / 118 min / German

A shockingly uncompromising and warm drama about a nine-year-old girl suffering from a behavioural disorder, her overwhelming need for love and security and the potential for violence that this engenders.

festivals, awards Berlinale 2019 (Alfred Bauer Prize), Jerusalem 2019


Benni is a delicate-looking girl with unbridled energy. She is a ‘system crasher’. This term is used to describe children who break every single rule; children who refuse to accept any kind of structure and who gradually fall through the cracks in Germany’s child and welfare services. No matter where this nine-year-old is taken in, she is booted out again after a short time. And that is exactly what she is after, because all she wants is to be able to live with her mother again: a woman who is totally unable to cope with her daughter’s incalculable behaviour.

“First of all, I didn’t want to place the blame on the system. /…/ The people I met all want to help, but they struggle and eventually fail. And that’s without mentioning that the circumstances make it difficult, because if you have one Benni in a group of ten children, what do you do with the other nine? You have to protect them. I could understand their dilemma. The main conflict comes from within Benni, not from the outside. To me, that’s what made this story interesting.” (Nora Fingscheidt)

Nora Fingscheidt
Born in Braunschweig, Germany, in 1983. She spent her schooldays in Germany and Argentina and gained her first filmmaking experiences as an actress. She studied fiction directing at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg and graduated with the documentary Ohne diese Welt. She is an acclaimed short film director and a prominent figure in Berlin’s film scene. System Crasher is her debut fiction feature.

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