The New Children of Golzow
DE, 2017, 86 min, German, English and Arabic with German subtitles
Directed by: Simone Catharina Gaul
mit Protagonist Frank Schütz (Bürgermeister von Golzow) (via Videostream), Doro Blancke (Gib mir deine Hand), Franziska Hartl (KAMA Graz), Franziska Gruber (Antirassistische Aktion Graz), u.a.
The village of Golzow is facing a shortage of young people, just like all of the rural regions in the former East Germany. However, the local mayor has a plan: he wants to provide new occupants for school desks by welcoming Syrian families. Golzow, a village on the Polish border, could be said to lie more or less at the end of the world. However, this village is known throughout Germany thanks to the series of film documentaries entitled The Children of Golzow, which was filmed over the course of fifty years starting in 1961. Today, all that remains in the famous Golzow is a museum and memories of “better times”. However, the mayor sees hope for bringing the village back to life through the Syrians who have fled the war to Germany. He helps two Syrian families relocate to Golzow, including Halima, Fadi, and their children. All of them try to integrate in village life as best as they can. At the same time, they are under the constant supervision of the entire community, and, at every opportunity, are told in what and how they must adapt to local customs. The camera tracks them for more than a year, and the portrait of one family becomes the story of one integration.