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(Wenn der Vater mit den Soehnen)

Olli’s family in “Wenn der Vater mit den Soehnen“ (photo © Hans Albrecht Lusznat)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2009

Wenn der Vater mit den Soehnen is the continuation of documentary filmmaker Wolfgang Ettlich’s Irgendwie Power machen. When filming began back in 1980 on that film, Oliver was 15-years-old and right in the middle of becoming a member of the Null-Bock (translation: "Can’t-be-bothered") Generation. He had difficulties, like many teenagers his age, with his parents, whom he found well in order but still, somehow, was not in tune with them. He didn’t know whether he should become a punk or join the Bagwhan movement. He finally decided punk would provide him with a substitute family.

For 15 years, until 1995, Oliver was accompanied on his journey to adulthood. In the meantime he got married, became the father of two sons and all the things that people prophesized for him – drug addiction, criminality and drifting – did not come true. When the new filming period began his sons were almost the same age as their father back then. This is the starting point of Wenn der Vater mit den Soehnen.

Nicholas didn’t join the punk scene, choosing HipHop instead. He graduated from secondary school and is now in further education. He is especially interested in computing and is beginning slowly, as his father Olli did too, to make first contacts with girls and, in particular, to separate from his parents.

For David, the younger of the two, the situation is a little bit different. He’s in secondary education, is a good student, except for his grades in French, and isn’t any great cause of concern for his parents. The one thing that does disturb them, however, is that David’s life outside school revolves around the computer. That means: homework, then computer games, PlayStation and watching comic films with his friends. His voice is in the middle of breaking and he is now in puberty.

You only have to watch the old film, Irgendwie Power machen, or remember the constant discussions and rows between father and son, to imagine how tense this new, long-term project will be. Olli is himself now in the role of the father and has to set the rules and guidelines.

Wenn der Vater mit den Soehnen tries to capture similar scenes as in the previous film, offering a unique opportunity to observe and document the development of two generations in parallel, and how the upbringing and life of the father impacts on the raising of the sons Nicholas and David.

Genre Educational
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2009
Director Wolfgang Ettlich
Cinematography Hans-Albrecht Lusznat
Monika Abspacher
Producers Wolfgang Ettlich, Imke Hansen
Production Company MGS Filmproduktion/Munich
Format color
Shooting Dates Munich, 2006 - 2010
Sound Technology Dolby Stereo

MGS Filmproduktion
Wolfgang Ettlich
Georgenstrasse 121
80797 Munich/Germany
phone +49-89-1 23 64 65
fax +49-89-1 23 64 99