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Tenth Summer, The (zehnte Sommer, Der)

Tenth Summer, The
Kai Wiesinger, Katharina Boehm, Martin Stuehrk, Christina Schumacher (photo © Astrid Wirth)

The story of a summer in 1960, the story of eventful holidays - a mischievous love story in a working-class neighborhood in a small provincial town along the Rhine River.

It all begins on Kalli’s ninth birthday on a hot, dusty day - his present: a bright red scooter. He takes off through the neighborhood on his new scooter, and things start to happen.

Kalli and his best friends Polli and Walter set up a zoo, for which they are promised a real monkey. Almut Hilfers and her daughters, three fun-loving ladies with a somewhat shady reputation, get into trouble. Kalli wants to help them, and slowly but surely befriends them, thus becoming the object of their love and adoration. Then, despite all odds, a tender love develops between Kalli and the neighbor’s daughter, Franzi.

All the loose ends come together with the arrival of Kappu the monkey, whose existence has to be kept from the adults in town. Even Kalli’s visits to Ms. Hilfers and his relationship to Franzi have to remain a secret.

A summer full of adventure: And Kalli has to muster up all of his energy and fantasy to make it through the wild and crazy summer.


Joerg Gruenler was born in 1945 in Apolda. He studied Political Science, Journalism, and American Studies at the University of Munich from 1965-1968, followed by an editorial apprenticeship. From 1970-1973, he studied at the Academy of Television & Film (HFF/M) in Munich. His films include various episodes of the television series Ein Fall fuer zwei (1988-1992), Eurocops (1990-1991), Die Kommissarin (1993), and Tatort (1995), the award-winning features Kruecke (1992) which won, among others, three German Film Awards, and Lemgo (1994), as well as TV movies such as 36 Stunden Angst (1998), and the feature The Tenth Summer (Der zehnte Sommer, 2003).
Genre Coming-of-Age Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2003
Director Joerg Gruenler
Screenplay Dieter Bongartz
Cinematography Daniel Koppelkamm
Ulrike Leipold, Joerg Baumeister
Mick Baumeister
Bernd Lepel
Cast Martin Stuehrk, Michelle Barthel, Kai Wiesinger, Katharina Boehm, Christina Schumacher, Erika Marozsán
Producers Elke Ried, Imogen Nabel
Production Company Zieglerfilm Koeln, in co-production with Ziegler Film
Length 98 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Berlin 2003 (Children's Film Fest, in competition), Carrousel 2003, Mill Valley 2003, Oulu 2003, Golden Elephant 2003, Cinemagic 2003
With backing from German Federal Film Board, MFG Baden-Württemberg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, BKM, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film
German Distributor Arsenal Film Verleih/Tübingen

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