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Scene from “Dr. Ketel” (photo © Nikos Welter/dffb)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2010

Berlin’s notorious Neukoelln district. The near future. A time in which the health system has collapsed. A man works in the shadows and without license as a doctor. He has no practice, no appointments system. He treats people in the courtyards and streets – everywhere he’s needed, stealing medicine from pharmacies. Nobody knows his name or that by day he’s the caretaker of a shabby tenement building. He pushes boundaries and suffers defeats that cost him the last of his strength. Forced to adopt the role of a shadow, an outlaw, he is confronted with the question as to whether he really is a doctor.

“My father was a doctor in Neukoelln for thirty years,” says Dr. Ketel’s producer and co-writer, Anna de Paoli. “He’d tell me stories about his work. More than actual episodes or anecdotes, I have a certain emotional tie to his work – the feeling of being involved with various people, with their suffering, their illnesses and their cares of being responsible and mostly having to deal with things on their own. The good feeling of having an honorable duty, coupled with doubts about not being up to the task; somehow working at the bottom of the pond. So the story has a very personal core, but touches at the same time universal questions about self-image and personal interaction.”

Dr. Ketel’s near future setting gives the film the freedom to sharpen the circumstances and draw the borders of the known less tightly. Inspiration came also from Pulp Fiction actress Amanda Plummer, Jury member at the Sitges Film Festival where the de Paolis’ most recent short film, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Kill, had its debut and was awarded Special Mention.

“For me,” says director and co-writer Linus de Paoli, “Dr. Ketel is an artistic act of passage. In my previous films I trusted only the strength of editing. Here the emphasis is on the characters. The idea is to make the film as original and gripping as possible through the contradictory lead character.”

Genre Fantasy, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2010
Director Linus de Paoli
Screenplay Anna de Paoli, Linus de Paoli
Cinematography Nikos Welter
Linus de Paoli
Felix Raffel
Daniela Petrozzi
Cast Pit Bukowski, Franziska Rummel, Ketel Weber, Sema Poyraz, Walera Kanischtscheff
Producer Anna de Paoli
Production Company Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB)
 German, English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Moscow 2012 (Perspectives Competition)

Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin GmbH (DFFB)
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German Film and Television Academy (DFFB)
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