Berlin Is in Germany

Synopsis: When Martin, a former GDR citizen, is released from jail, he lately becomes confronted with the consequences of the German re-unification.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Hannes Stöhr
Production: Filmboard Berlin-Brandenberg
  7 wins & 1 nomination.
99 min

East Germany, Brandenburg Prison 9.

November 1989

Last night, many East Germans crossed the

border by just showing their IDs.

Several West Berliners also paid a

short visit to East Berlin.

However, it has been

announced that from 8 am onwards,

an ID card will no longer be required.

11 years later, 20 prisoners jailed during the

Communist era are still

in the Brandenburg Prison.

Martin Schulz is being released today.

Have you got everything?

Off you go!

Good luck!

See you, Martin.

Your driver's license, your ID

and your wallet.

And your money.

Please sign here.

So Mr. Schulz, here's your release

allowance of 800 marks,

a train ticket to Berlin, and

your release certificate.

You must contact your probation officer in Berlin.

I'm sure you know that.

Papers are there, too.

If you could just sign here.



DM 3.90

Hello, may I help you?

Uhm ... yes.

I want a present for my son.

How old is your son? - Eleven.

What does he like? - He ...

- What are his hobbies?

Hobbies ...

Yes ...

What's he like doing? Well ...

When you ask me like that ...

I don't know what he does

or what his hobbies are.

But it should be something modern.

I saw an ad for it. It's something

where you press with both hands ...

A Gameboy?

But not a Tamagotchi.

I saw a TV program on it.

I reckon they're absurd.

Feeding an electronic pet

seems warped to me.

No, it's something you have

to press with both hands.

Perhaps just a football is better.

Um, hello.

Is this where the Schulzes live?

- Yes, it says so there.

Oh, yes.

And are you Rokko? - Yes.

Is your mother home? - No, at work,

and then she wanted to go shopping.


Actually I just wanted to

drop off a few presents.

My mother says I'm not

allowed to let strangers in.

Your mother's quite right.

Then I'll just put everything

in front of the door.

By the way, the little

package is for you.

Thank you.

OK. Goodbye, Rokko.

Piss off!

Piss off, I said.

Leave me alone!

Piss off!

Piss off, I'm going to jump.

Leave me alone. Piss off, I said.

Clear off! Piss off!

It's at least a 15 meter jump.

2 or 3 seconds, and you're gone.

But if you jump, then ...

...I'll jump, too.

-Piss off! Piss off!

Leave me alone!

Are you crazy?

Don't you recognize me?

Piss off!

Leave me alone!

Calm down.

Calm down.



What's wrong with you, what's wrong?

After reunification,

I went over to the West,

to a building site in Stuttgart.

Are you from East Germany?

Eastie, can you lift this?

Over there, their own people come

first, then Giuseppe, then Achmed,

then "Easties" right at

the bottom.


I couldn't take it, and

came back to Berlin.

I worked a while

as a floorer ...

... now they say

interior designer.

And then I wanted

to set up on my own.

That was all so complicated.

My last job was as an "ice-man".

Frozen goods.

An "ice-man".

"Ice is Nice" was

written on the van.

I got my truck license specially.

Then I forgot to shut the back, and

all the stuff fell out on the street.

That was it.

Then you sit with a woman in a pub,

and she asks what you do for a living.

And I say nothing, simply nothing.

You know how women are.

If you have nothing, you are nothing.

Yes ... and then

I thought, "I'll jump off the roof

and put an end to my misery".

But I didn't even manage that.

I'm not even capable of that.

Do you have a handkerchief?


Could you give us two beers, Ute?

- I won't do it on tab anymore.

I'll pay, OK?

Thanks, Martin.

And what's Manfred doing?

Haven't seen him for ages.

And Enrique?

Haven't seen him for ages either.

Well, if it isn't Mr. Pau!

What a surprise!

- Kurt, if you want to make trouble, get out.

- Don't interfere

get me a beer.

When do I see my money again?

Do you owe him money? - Yes.

Who's this here?

We don't like tourists here, do you?

-How much d'you owe him? - 300 marks.

Here, take your dosh and get out.

Is Daddy paying for you?

OK, the Party thanks you.

Have you been in a gay bar, meeting

such generous people?

Piss off!

Come on, get out of here!

Listen here!

Don't try talking to

me like that, you motherf***er.

You alright? - Yeah, I'm alright.

We could go to my place. You can

sleep over. - No, I'm OK. I'll be off.

Go home.


Despite being almost totally submerged,

they can breathe, smell, see and hear.

They sink down silently,

their lungs holding enough

air for 5 minutes.

Buoyancy and gravity are

more or less equal.

Above water, there's turmoil again.

Hippopotamuses are known

for their aggression.

Their powerful jaws and sharp

teeth are dangerous weapons,

but most scuffles end peacefully.


What a surprise!

But why the TV? Why didn't

you leave it for the others?

They've all got one.

I brought your picture, too.

Two jailbirds sat before the bank,

one was smelly, the other stank.

Then Smelly said to Stank:

I'll sit in front of another bank.

What's it mean? - It's poetry.

No, Victor, it's sh*t. - It's not sh*t.

Hubes got 3 years more.

He tried it on

with a social worker.

And Bucki? - Still the

warders' best friend.

And Ralli ...

... is in the looney bin.

He lost it a few months ago.

He kept hitting his

head against the wall.

They just took him away.

But he had life anyway.

And you?

Any plans?

Well ...

... to slowly get back into things.

My wife's with another

guy ... - You knew that!

Yes, I knew, but it's still strange

seeing her with someone else.

And your son?

At least I've seen him

for the first time.

And you?


I'm ... I'm in retirement, Martin.

I see nothing, I hear nothing!

Do you want to go in?

For you it's free.

Live show!

Have you been here before?

Or ... is it your first time?

Do you like it?

Shall I ...

... tell you my prices?

One ... two ... three.

Can you speak Russian?

I understand ... a little.

Where did you learn? Are you from ...

... East Germany?

My mother ... was ...

a Russian teacher ...

in an East German school.

I'm not stupid, little soldier.

Good morning, Mr. Schulz. Oh, sorry, did we wake you?

- Yes

We're from the Berlin News.

We chose your address at random,

and would like to do a short interview.

May we come in?

Thank you.

Do you like it? - Nice.

A bit big, maybe.

Here's information on

opening a savings account,

this is to help you

find an apartment,

here are job center addresses, something

on health and pension schemes,

and here's your new tax card.

An application for social welfare.

A job training program

is also possible.

And I've also prepared an

application for supervised lodgings.

I'd rather stay in the hotel,

and find work myself.

That's alright.

But you'll have to come here

regularly so we can monitor progress.

I recommend our workshops.

I take the art therapy, and

would love to see you there.

Take a look at the

pictures on the wall.

Now you can see when it's our turn.

We've 345, and it's showing 325.

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Hannes Stöhr

Hannes Stöhr (born 1970) is a German film director and screenwriter. He studied Scriptwriting and Directing at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin from 1994 to 1999. In 2006 Stöhr was a Villa Aurora grant recipient and lived for six months in Los Angeles, California. Hannes speaks German, Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. Stöhr is member of the European Filmacademy, lectures film at Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin and the Goethe Institute. He lives in Berlin. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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