A engrossing film about the German equivalent of Borstal in the 1960’s with the addition of the stone hand of the church.
It was not clear to me why Louis Hofmann’s character was sent away. There didn’t appear to be any judicial process and except for annoying the slimy boyfriend of his mother and generally acting like any self-respecting teenager, he didn’t seem that much ‘out of control’. The only odd thing about him was that he seemed to have sexual fantasies about his mother, unless of course they really happened...
Not particularly original in showing the awful system at work, corrupting both the boys and their keepers, though the setting in the original location of a peat bog miles from anywhere was striking.
Best of all was Louis Hofmann’s performance, sympathetic, though carefully nuanced so as not to appear too much the hero. If he was an English speaker he would be no doubt on his way to A-lister status. As it is, he has given equally outstanding performances in ‘Land of Mine’ and ‘Centre of My World.’
Freistatt, the name of the institution, is a 2014 film in German with good English subtitles.