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MY GERMAN FRIEND (DEUTSCHE FREUND, DER)

MY GERMAN FRIEND
photo © Malena Filmproduktion

Sulamit, the daughter of German-Jewish emigrants from Germany, grows up in Buenos Aires in the fifties. Between her and Friedrich, the German boy living next door whose parents escaped to Argentina after the war, a deep intimacy and kinship develops. When Friedrich realizes that his father was an SS Lieutenant Colonel in Nazi Germany, he breaks off all contact with his family and goes to Germany to study. Sulamit follows him a few years later. Friedrich takes an active part in the German protest movement of May 1968 and is dedicated to the Cuban cause and the liberation struggles of Latin America. Gradually his whole life centers on his political commitment. His desperate efforts to repair the damage that’s been done leave no room for a love relationship in his traumatized universe. He finally leaves Germany to join an Argentinian guerilla movement. His very first military action leads to his arrest and he ends up in jail. Sulamit remains in Germany, gets her master’s degree and initially works as a translator. She starts a relationship with Michael, a man who loves her and supports her with her career. But to her he is more of a father figure and not the great love of her life. Sulamit visits Friedrich in a remote jail in Argentina, but he suppresses his feelings and she returns to Germany. When the dictatorship in Argentina finally falls, Friedrich is set free. He remains in Patagonia, living near an indigenous Mapuche settlement. Sulamit, now 43, once again travels to Argentina to meet Friedrich. This time their encounter is about to take a different turn.

A film about love and politics, about overcoming origins and the heritage of parents.


Jeanine Meerapfel studied at the School of Journalism in Buenos Aires and began her career as an editor and journalist in Argentina. After her studies at the Institute of Film at the Ulm School of Design from 1964 to 1968, she worked as a freelance film critic for several publications. Since 1968 she has worked as a scriptwriter, producer and film director, winning numerous international awards for her work. In 1990 she became Professor for Film and Television at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Her films include: IN THE COUNTRY OF MY PARENTS (1981, documentary), MELEK LEAVES (1985), LA AMIGA (1988), DESEMBARCOS – WHEN MEMORY SPEAKS (1989, documentary), AMIGOMIO (1995), ANNA’S SUMMER (2001), MOSCONI – OR TO WHOM THE WORLD BELONGS (2007, documentary), and MY GERMAN FRIEND (2012).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2012
Director Jeanine Meerapfel
Screenplay Jeanine Meerapfel
Cinematography Victor Kino González
Cast Celeste Cid, Max Riemelt, Benjamin Sadler, Noemi Frenkel, Jean Pierre Noher, Carlos Kaspar, Katja Alemann, Daniel Fanego, Adriana Aizenberg
Producer Jeanine Meerapfel
Co-Producers Hans W. Geißendörfer, Ricardo Freixá
Production Company Malena Filmproduktion/Cologne
Length 100 min
Format 35 mm, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 Spanish, German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals BFI London 2012, Sao Paulo 2012, JeonJu 2013
With backing from BKM, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, German Federal Film Fund, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film
German Distributor Neue Visionen Filmverleih

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