MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
System Crasher - On Netflix Streaming
Directed by Nora Flingscheidt
Starring Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch
In German with subtitles
System Crasher is one of the toughest watches I’ve had in recent months, but it is also a film that gets you thinking about important things. The main character is Benni (Zengel), a 9-year-old with serious control issues. Her unpredictable mood swings and violent behavior has placed her apart from her family and into a series of foster homes and institutions. There are many efforts from caring persons to reach out to Benni including Micha (Schuch), an educator who has worked with troubled youth and thinks that he can get through somehow. System Crasher will break your heart without necessarily putting it back together. This film recently swept the major honors at the German Film Awards, including best film, actor, actress, supporting actress and screenplay. This is one of those movies in which no one gets off easy, including the viewer, but it helped me think about how close we can get to helping someone in need while still failing along the way. Troubled kids like Benni need love, too, but it’s usually the well-adjusted “easy” kids that receive the most praise and affirmation.
Halo and Pitchfork Rating:
Two halos: There are glimmers of hope that are quickly quenched in this unrelentingly bleak film.
Four pitchforks: Lots of nasty swearing throughout; children at risk; uncomfortable situations; and major bed wetting.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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