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German Class


There‘s Panvera, who is very ambitious and smart but is also great at arm wrestling, and Ferdi, who is the oldest student in class at 15 and wants to be a car mechanic which seems less and less likely because of his school grades. Then there‘s Kujitim, who prefers to skip than learn, and his friend Schach, the clown, whose constant flirting with everyone doesn‘t give him time to focus on his school work. It‘s a diverse mix that‘s held together by Ute Vecchio, the class teacher, who tries to teach her students how to read and write in for 5 hours a day in the 2 year prep class so they can then go on to regular school. She is the focus of of the film along with the kids, everything revolves around her strictness and devotion. There are many documentaries that accompany and observe school classes. Nicolas Philibert‘s SEIN UND HABEN could be seen as the trendsetter. KLASSE DEUTSCH has wonderful moments, like when Ute Vecchio paints the walls of her classroom on her day off which offer wonderful moments that tie into her unconditional engagement and the need for deceleration and peace.

Unlike SEIN UND HABEN, KLASSE DEUTSCH is more grounded. It can‘t be accused of representing a kitschy perfect world due to the student‘s difficult situations and the decision to shoot the film in black and white. This isn‘t a cineastic gimmick, it creates distance and invites you to discuss it rather than color films that emphasize the naturalistic gaze.

Michael Schmitz

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: German Class
Deutschland 2016 - 2018, 89 min
Language: German
Genre: Documentary
Director: Florian Heinzen-Ziob
Author: Florian Heinzen-Ziob
Montage: Florian Heinzen-Ziob
Music: Vasyl Humnuytskyy
Distributor: W-Film
FSK: 6
Release: 16.05.2019




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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