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Under the Ice (Unter dem Eis)

Under the Ice
Scene from "Schattenspiele" (photo © EIKON / Stephan Rabold)

Jenny and Michael and their 7-year-old son Tim live in a nice house in the suburbs. Sandra and her husband Guenther have moved into their neighborhood just recently and Jenny is helping them to settle in. Tim and Sandra’s little daughter Luzi are in the same class.

One day, when Tim and Luzi are secretly playing in the woods, Luzi is accidentally and tragically killed. Several indications imply that Tim is somehow connected to Luzi's death. In order to protect her son, Jenny decides to lie so that no one will ever relate Tim to the tragic incident. She urgently warns him not to tell anybody the truth – not even his father, who, as a police detective, is in charge of the case.

The mutual knowledge of the secret puts both mother and son under too much pressure. Even though Jenny just wants to protect her son, she is inflicting harm to his soul, because she doesn't give him a chance to cope with what has happened. Tim becomes more and more alienated, retreating into in his own world. He can’t sleep at night, beats up his classmates and gets entangled in a web of lies. But instead of helping Tim to escape this nightmare, Jenny gets herself caught up in contradictions to hold up the illusion of her ideal world. And eventually, the family has to face the shattered pieces of their former happiness.


Aelrun Goette studied Philosophy at the Humboldt University followed by studies in Film at the "Konrad Wolf" Academy of Film and Television. Also active as a costume designer, stage director, actress and writer, her films include: Ohne Bewaehrung (documentary, 1997), Zug der Wuensche (short, 1999), Let's Do It! (2001), Ich wart' auf Dich (2001), Attacke! Frauen ans Gewehr (2002), Feldtagebuch - allein unter Maennern (documentary, 2002), Die Kinder sind tot (documentary, 2003), and Under the Ice (Unter dem Eis, 2005).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2005
Director Aelrun Goette
Screenplay Thomas Stiller
Cinematography Jens Harant
Andreas Zitzmann
Martin Todsharow
Heidrun Reshoeft
Cast Bibiana Beglau, Dirk Borchardt, Adrian Wahlen, Susanne Lothar, Sandra Borgmann
Producer Ernst Ludwig Ganzert
Production Company EIKON Media/Berlin
Length 94 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology DTS
Festivals Hof 2005, FIPA Biarritz 2006, Montreal 2006, Copenhagen 2006, Sithengi Festival Capetown 2006, Baden-Baden 2006, AFI Fest Los Angeles 2006
Awards Adolf Grimme Award 2007
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

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