Jesper W. Nelsen, Denmark
In 1967 two working-class brothers, Erik and Elmer, took to the streets to steal what can’t be provided by their sick mother. They are thriving despite their low standard of living and have found a haven in their imaginary landscapes which are mostly based on comic books and other literature about adventures and astronauts landing on the moon. Their life takes an abrupt turn when the two thieves are caught by the state and taken from their mother. They land in an orphanage which is nothing more than a child labor camp. Here they are provided with a place to sleep, and an education which will allow them to find a job among the working class. This is not a bad idea in theory but Erik and Elmer soon discover that this home is more like a prison where the children suffer mental and physical abuse. The two brothers have such a strong bond that they are willing to take risks to protect one another at various times. The film shows how with some courage, love and a bit of imagination, one can hope for a better future.
This story is based on a true story, important to be told. I have met a few men who grew up in such places here in Hamburg and had hair-raising stories to tell. I could visualize how terrible it must have been and can also understand why some of them still have trouble coming to terms with their pasts and how it affects their current lives. Winner of the Commerzbank Audience Award.