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photo © MTM West/Juergen Thiele

Between 1962 and 1966, four schoolboys were abused, tortured and killed in Germany's Ruhr District. Their tormentor, Juergen Bartsch, was fifteen at the time of his first crime; nineteen when he was caught. His mesmerizing confession, which frames the re-enactment of his crimes and the circumstances through which they came about, forms the heart of this journey into the dark reaches of a troubled mind. Bartsch's cold and severe adoptive parents, his terror-filled years at a Catholic boarding school, the discovery of his sexual attraction to boys, his desperate longing to never have to grow up – these and other emotionally charged aspects of his life unfold before us, step by troubling step. Ultimately, however, it is the outward normality of his everyday life that underscores the horror of his deeds. Based the Paul Moor's book Juergen Bartsch: Opfer und Taeter and original letters and statements by Bartsch himself, THE CHILD I NEVER WAS paints the chilling portrait of a murderer who craves our sympathy, a charming beast who strikes an unsettling chord in our hearts...
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2002
Director Kai S. Pieck
Screenplay Kai S. Pieck
Cinematography Egon Werdin
Ingo Ehrlich
Kurt Dahlke
Bertram Strauss
Cast Walter Gontermann, Ulrike Bliefert, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Tobias Schenke
Producer Bettina Scheuren, in cooperation with WDR
Runtime 83 min
Format 16 mm
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Stereo
Festivals Hof 2002, Berlin 2003 (German Cinema), Lünen 2002, Cinénygma Luxemburg 2003, San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2003, New York 2003, Image+ Nation Festival Montreal 2003, Espoo Cine 2003, Cinema Tout Ecran 2003, Sitges 2003, Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2004
Awards Berndt-Media Prize Lünen 2002, Levi's First Feature Award San Francisco 2003, Honorable Mention by the Jury Image+ Montreal 2003, Special Jury Award Torino 2004
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
German Distributor Salzgeber & Co. Medien

World Sales
Bavaria Media International