In Bettina Büttner’s exquisitely lucid documentary Kinder (Kids), childhood dysfunction, loneliness, and pent-up emotion run wild at an all-boys group home in southern Germany. The children interned here include ten-year-olds Marvin and Tommy. Marvin, fiddling with a mini plastic Lego sword, explains matter-of-factly to the camera, “This is a knife. You use it to cut stomachs open.” Dennis, who is even younger, is seen in a hysteric fit, mimicking some pornographic scene. Boys will be boys, but innocence is disproportionately spare here. Choosing not to dwell on the harsh specifics, Büttner reveals the disconcerting manner in which traumatic episodes can manifest themselves in the mundane — a game of Lego, Hide and Seek, or Truth or Dare. Filmed in lapidary black-and-white, Büttner’s fascinating film sheds light on childhood from the boys’ characteristically disadvantaged perspective — one not yet fully cognizant — leaving much ethically to ponder over.
Where to watch
Release dateMarch 6, 2011
- Büttner und Stürmer
- Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe