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The Last Years of Childhood

Die letzten Jahre der Kindheit, G 1979, directed by Norbert Kückelmann, 106 min, rated: 12

Martin Sonntag is, in today’s jargon, a “habitual juvenile offender”. At 13, he has already attended reform schools, juvenile detention centers, and psychiatric wards, and now, at 14, he is legally responsible for his own actions and faces prison. Cameraman Jürgen Jürges juxtaposes the confinement of state institutions with the boy’s physical desire for freedom. Martin falls through all the safety nets of the welfare state. In custody, he takes his own life.

Featuring: Gerhard Gundel, Dieter Mustafoff, Leopoldine Schwankel, Karl Obermaier, Norbert Bauhuber, Ernst Hannawald, Siegfried Ahr, Wilfried Klaus, Jörg Hube, Christian Letze

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