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SHIFTING THE BLAME (SCHULD SIND IMMER DIE ANDEREN)

SHIFTING THE BLAME
photo © Laura Schleicher/FFL.de

Ben has gone down the wrong path. He repeatedly attacks people, robs them and doesn’t stop at physical violence. His deeds soon bear consequences: he lands in juvenile prison. But he shows no remorse. Social worker Niklas offers him the chance of a fresh start. Ben must prove himself outside the prison walls. He turns the offer down fiercely, but then consents.

Ben becomes the freshman in the Waldhaus. There are neither fences nor walls, but a strict daily routine, never ending rules and evaluations that enable a rise in hierarchy. Ben rebels in the familiar community, disregards rules and stirs up the group. When one member of the group is sent back to prison after an aggressive outbreak, Ben realizes that he has to watch out.

Ben begins to engage in the project and enters the community step by step. But when Niklas’ wife Eva returns from a retreat, he is shocked. She is a former victim of his assaults, the one that was never resolved. A game of hide and seek starts for him, where he is permanently on the edge of being found out by Eva. For Eva, every day becomes a harder challenge. The more she tries to forget the past, the more she is overwhelmed by it. Niklas’ worry for his wife grows, while Ben fights to keep his secret safe.

But then Eva’s suspicion is aroused and Ben’s situation seems hopeless. For him as for Eva, a world falls apart. Ben experiences the pain of guilt for the first time, a conscience, and Eva feels the weakness of a victim that wants to forgive but cannot. What she held to be true suddenly loses its value. And the fact that they live together evolves into a crucial test and nobody knows how it will end.
Genre Drama, Psycho Thriller
Category Feature
Year of Production 2012
Director Lars-Gunnar Lotz
Screenplay Anna Maria Prassler
Cinematography Jan Prahl
Cast Edin Hasanovic, Julia Brendler, Marc Ben Puch, Pit Bukowski, Natalia Rudziewicz
Producers Matthias Drescher, Philipp Knauss
Co-Producers Sebastian Sawetzki, Manuel Challal, Franziska Specht
Production Company FFL Film- und Fernseh-Labor/Ludwigsburg, in co-production with SWR/Stuttgart, ARTE, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Runtime 93 min
Format DCP, color, cs
Dubbed Versions French
Language
 German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Max Ophüls Festival Saarbrücken 2012, Filmfest Emden 2012, Festival of German Films Ludwigshafen 2012, Montreal World Film Festival 2012, Zurich 2012, Sao Paulo 2012 (New Directors Competition), Thessaloniki 2012, Tallinn Black Nights 2012, Shanghai 2013, Zlin 2013, Poitiers 2015
Awards Studio Hamburg Talent Award 2012, Bernhard Wicki Award 2012, NDR Young Directors Award 2012, DGB Trade Union Award 2012, Audience Award Ludwigshafen 2012
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg

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