Germany

Synopsis

Sabine is a normal school girl, age sixteen. Because she is in permanent trouble with her mother's boyfriend, they decide that it is better if she lives with her dad for a while. Her dad lives in one of the suburban East Berlin towns. Because Sabine hasn't seen her dad very often before, she feels like a stranger in this completely new area.

The first person she meets is Eddie, a boy of the same age, who, as we find out later, is in the same class as her. Eddie is about to leave school, without knowing what to do. His job as a window cleaning trainee doesn't give him money nor satisfaction, but he sees it as a start into employment. His best friend is Micha. Micha is now eighteen, unemployed and already permanently in trouble with the police. People would call him a juvenile delinquent, but as he sees it, he just takes the chances he gets. He has just been released from prison. And if there is one thing he knows: he doesn't want to go back there.

Micha's coming-home party turns into a nightmare. Eddie, Micha and Stefan, a schoolmate of Eddie, get into a vicious fight with a boy from another area and before they know, it's happened! Eddie finds himself with a knife in his hand, stabbing the boy to death. Coincidentally, Sabine comes along on her way from school. She almost walks into the bleeding corpse. All she sees is Micha, running away, holding the bloody knife in his hands. Eddie had dropped it and Micha had picked it up to get rid of it.

The gang is terrified - of what they had done and what will happen. After a threatening phone call, to silent Sabine, Micha instructs Eddie to spy on her. But instead of spying, Eddie falls in love with Sabine. Micha slowly gets suspicious on Eddie, so he decides to take heavier measures. The tragedy begins...

ALASKA.DE isn't a crime story. It doesn't intend to display the brutalization of suburban youth, but gives a sensitive profile of German kids in modern urban life. It was developed with two gangs the director met, while producing a music video about violence in German schools. All the young actors are amateurs. The director and the 13 kids who play parts in the movie prepared themselves with several weekend sessions and a seven days training camp to intensify their work. In improvisations, the story was adjusted to the experiences of the actual actors. The script was rewritten to fit the kids themselves.

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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Esther Gronenborn

Written by: Esther Gronenborn

Produced by: Eberhard Junkersdorf

Cinematography: Jan Fehse

Editing: Christian Lonk

Production Design: Tom Hornig

Costume Design: Linda Harper

Sound: Mark von Stürler

Main Cast: Jana Pallaske (Sabine), Frank Droese (Eddi), Arthur Rakk (Anton)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery of the Year - Fassbinder Award  2001