The Day I Was Not Born

Synopsis: During a stopover in Buenos Aires on her way to Chile, 31-year-old Maria recognizes a nursery rhyme. Maria doesn't speak a work of Spanish, but without understanding what she is singing, she remembers the Spanish lyrics. Disturbed and thrown off course, she decides to interrupt her journey and wander through the unfamiliar city. On the phone to Germany, she tells her father, Anton, about her experience and the peculiar fascination the unfamiliar city has had for her. Two days later, Anton suddenly turns up at Maria's hotel with something to confess: Maria spent the first three years of her life in Buenos Aires during the military dictatorship at the end of the 1970s. The people she had always thought were her parents had adopted her and brought her to Germany. Father and daughter begin a journey in search of Maria's biological parents. Anton does everything he can not to lose his daughter.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Florian Cossen
Production: schwarz/weiB
  7 wins & 5 nominations.
94 min


First race. 50 meters.

I'II Ieave this in the car, okay?.

Take care of yourseIf Mimi, okay?.

- I'II be back soon. -Yes.

And give me a caII.

- I wiII.

Just caII me when you arrive,

and I'II caII you right back.

Bye! You'II get your birthday

present when you get back.

See you. Bye!


You've got two new messages.

Message one...

Hi, Dad. It's me, Maria...

I missed my connecting fIight...

I'm stiII in Buenos Aires.

I don't know when I can go on

to Santiago. I Iost my passport.

I'II caII you Iater.


Message two...

Hi, Dad. Where are you?

The passport wiII take time. I have to

go to the poIice again tomorrow.

But don't worry, I'm at a hoteI now,

everything wiII be fine.

Something strange happened to me

this morning at the airport...

I recognized a chiIdren's song.

But it was in Spanish.

Give me a caII.

The number here is 0054114786...

... 6970.

TaIk soon.

Dad? What? How did you get here?

- HeIIo.

Hi. Did something happen?


So what are you doing here?

Dad... Are you not feeIing weII?


Sit down.

I'II get you something to drink, okay?.

Wait here.

Do you know what you sounded Iike

on the answering machine?

I was worried.

So you just take the next fIight over?.

That's how it is with oId fathers.

Did I have one Iike this

when I was smaII?

I don't remember.

Where did you get it?

I bought it here.

It seems very famiIiar to me.

I don't know, I don't have

an eye for things Iike that.

Stuffed animaIs aII Iook the same to me.

But it's not a stuffed animaI,

it's pIastic. FeeI it.

We have to get you

back on your traveIs again.

You can't be stuck here for three days.

- Why are you changing the subject?

I'm not changing the subject.

I toId you I don't recognize that thing.

And what about the song?.

LiIiane aIways sang that to you.

In the beginning,

when you came to us.

When I came to you?

LiIiane and I

are not your reaI parents.

You were born here.

In 1980...

your parents disappeared.

What do you mean, ''disappeared''?

They were kidnapped by the miIitary.

They never turned up again.

German? -Yes.

- Come with me.

This is usuaIIy not my job.

-The probIem is,

I have to be in Santiago by tomorrow

It can't be that hard.

What eIse was in that bag?.

My passport... uh...

airIine ticket, my caIendar...

- Money?.

No, IuckiIy I had that in my pocket.

- Pesos or Euro? - Pesos.

Can I see it? - What?

-The money. Can you pIease show me?

The one on top is fake.

That can't be,

I just got it out of the machine.

Yes, unfortunateIy, they're getting

better and better, the fake biIIs.

As a foreigner with no passport...

and waIking around with fake money...

Some coIIeagues

have no patience for such things.

It's up to you,

but may be it's better you Ieave it here.

That's reaIIy weII made.


Maria FaIkenmayer.

SIower pIease.

How do you speII that?

Did you go swimming?.

Maria, what can I do?

TeII me everything you know

We Iived here for six years.

I was transferred here in 1974.

Your father came into my department

some time Iater.

The company

had a kindergarten for the staff.

LiIiane worked there.

You were in her group.

She aIways toId me stories about you,

Iong before I saw you the first time.

One evening...

... no one came

to pick you up from kindergarten.

LiIiane brought you over to our house.

Go on!

That was the day

your parents were kidnapped.

It was morning.

You were stiII in kindergarten.

Some men broke into the apartment

and dragged them into a car.

The neighbor saw it aII.

That's what they toId me Iater,

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