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Handful of Grass, A (Eine Hand voll Gras)

Handful of Grass, A
Scene from "A Handful of Grass"

Ten-year-old Kendal lives in very simple circumstances in a small Kurdish village until one day his uncle arrives. The uncle brings him to Germany. He works for Salim, a drug boss who has a special fondness for using children as dealers. They have barely arrived in Hamburg when his uncle is arrested. Hellkamp, the taxi driver, a loner who used to be with the police, picks up Kendal and reluctantly decides to look after him. But since he is not allowed to keep Kendal, the boy ends up in a children's home.

His uncle tracks him down to the home, and from then on, Kendal works as a drug dealer for Salim. He quickly turns into a tough young street child. In the children's home Kendal is pestered and hassled by the older boys. Finally, his troubles force him to flee to the one person he can trust, the taxi driver Hellkamp. Gradually, a deep friendship now develops between the unresponsive Hellkamp and the lonely boy. In the end, Hellkamp decides to remove Kendal from his criminal milieu and to take up the fight against the drug boss Salim and his men.

Roland Suso Richter born in 1961, achieved his breakthrough with his first feature-length film for the cinema, Kolp (1983). Following its screening at Cannes, the film was invited to numerous international film festivals, was nominated for the German Film Award and the Bavarian Film Award, and went on to win the 1986 Youth Video Prize. Sven's Secret (1994) received countless awards including the 1996 Erich Kaestner Prize and the Rocky Award at the Banff Television Festival. Richter enjoyed further cinema success with 14 Days to Life (14 Tage Lebenslaenglich, 1997). In 1997, he directed the TV thriller Buddies. For his outstanding work as director on The Bubi Scholz Story (TV, 1998), he received the Bavarian Television Award. His other films include: After The Truth (Nichts als die Wahrheit, 1999), which was shown in competition at San Sebastian in 1999, as well as A Hand Full of Grass (Eine Hand voll Gras, 2000) and The Tunnel (2001), both of which screened in competition at Montreal.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1999
Director Roland Suso Richter
Screenplay Uwe Timm
Cinematography Martin Langer
Eva Schnare
Harald Kloser
Cast Oliver Korittke, Arman Kuru, Lisa Martinek, Ercan Durmaz, Yasmin Asadi
Producers Günter Rohrbach, Peter Herrmann, Ulrich Limmer
Production Company MTM Medien & Television/Munich, in co-production with WDR, Bavaria Film, Starhaus Filmproduktion/Munich
Length 100 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Montreal 2000 (in competition), Castellinaria 2002
Awards Cinekid Film Award 2001, Bronze Castle 2002
With backing from German Federal Film Board, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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