Mr. Bachmann and His Class

Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse

DIRECTED BY: Maria Speth COUNTRY: Germany YEAR: 2021 SPOKEN LANGUAGE(S): Bulgarian, German, Turkish SUBTITLES: English RUNNING TIME: 217 min

SECTION: International Competition


Where does one feel at home? In Stadtallendorf, a German city with a complex history of both excluding and integrating foreigners, genial teacher Dieter Bachmann offers his pupils the key to at least feeling as if they are at home. Aged between twelve and fourteen, these pupils come from twelve different nations; some have not quite mastered the German language. On the brink of retirement, Bachmann is eager to inspire these citizens-in-the-making with a sense of curiosity for a wide range of crafts, subjects, cultures and opinions. Watching this absorbing, sensitive documentary, one is overwhelmed with the realisation that, if only all children were blessed with such emotionally intelligent, ever-patient educators, conflict would be mitigated via discussion and John Lennon’s “Imagine” could be our reality. Those who, like filmmaker Maria Speth and her cinematographer Reinhold Vorschneider, are able to recognise and highlight so beautifully not only the importance of education but also what a quietly spectacular process it can be, are heroes in their own right, too.(Berlinale Competition)

Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1967, Maria Speth has lived in Berlin since 1987. She worked as an assistant editor and director until 1995. In 1996, she took up a directing degree at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. In 2001, she directed her multi-award-winning debut feature film THE DAYS BETWEEN. Her second feature, MADONNAS, premiered in the Forum and won the 2007 Hessian Film Award. In 2009, she founded the Madonnen Film production company and made her first documentary, 9 Lives, for which she won the Metropolis German Directors Award. Her work most recently featured in the Forum in 2014 with DAUGHTERS.

Barfuß (1999), In den Tag hinein (2001), Madonnen (2007), 9 Leben (2011), Töchter (2014), Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse (2021)

SCRIPT: Maria Speth, Reinhold Vorschneider PRODUCER: Maria Speth CINEMATOGRAPHY: Reinhold Vorschneider EDITOR: Maria Speth