Systemsprenger (System Crasher). 2019. Germany. Written and directed by Nora Fingscheidt. With Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide. 118 min.
“Bernadette, or Benni as she prefers to be known, is a delicate-looking girl with unbridled energy. She is a ‘system crasher.’ This term is used to describe children who break every single rule; children who refuse to accept any kind of structure and who gradually fall through the cracks in Germany’s child and welfare services. No matter where this nine-year-old is taken in, she is booted out again after a short time. And that is exactly what she is after, because all she wants is to be able to live with her mother again: a woman who is totally unable to cope with her daughter’s incalculable behaviour. Made from her own multi-award-winning script, Nora Fingscheidt has created an intense drama about one child’s overwhelming need for love and security and the potential for violence that this engenders. At the same time, the film depicts the tireless attempts of educators and psychologists who use respect, trust and confidence to create a way forward for children who threaten to destroy others and themselves as a result of their unpredictable outbursts” (2019 Berlin Film Festival program notes).