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Eine demokratische Gesprächsrunde zu festgelegten Zeiten

GER 2009, 11 min

Isabelle Stever visits a fourth grade class in Munich and their young teacher, who instituted a 'class council' according to the Freinet pedagogy.


The Munich elementary school on Thelottstraße is located in the multicultural district of Hasenbergl. The difficult financial situation many families and the language deficits of most of the children clearly affect the demands on the teachers' work. The film focuses on a fourth grade class and their young teacher, who instituted a 'class council' according to the Freinet pedagogy. The 9- to 11-year-olds are to learn successively to communicate according to democratic rules. Children who yell at each other or fight are to acquire language skills that show them alternative courses of action. The acute problem, presented by Marco, is: "I never want to play dodgeball again!" The teacher's role is demanding and complex. She has to intervene when the argumentation lacks any logic. Nevertheless, she wants to leave as much personal responsibility as possible to the children, so that they learn to take responsibility for their social life. The film tells the story of the sensitivity, effort and also ambivalence with which the "democratic" idea is introduced by the committed teacher into a society of children with very different family and cultural backgrounds.

The short film is part of the episodic film DEUTSCHLAND 09 - 13 KURZE FILME ZUR LAGE DER NATION (Germany ′09 – 13 Short Films About the State of the Nation). The film was inspired by the episodic film DEUTSCHLAND IM HERBST (Germany in Autumn), for which Alexander Kluge brought together twelve German filmmakers in 1977/78 to react to the "German Autumn".

Press reviews

Communities and societies need to establish methods and rituals of debate and solution or compromise finding to be able to respect their diversity and differences and to negotiate.  – Shedhalle Zurich

The film DEUTSCHLAND ’09 brings together at least a dozen different cinematic interpretations of our native land – these pieces describe the ways in which we position, lose and ensnarl ourselves in this country. – Tom Tykwer

Awards and Festivals

- Berlinale - Competition 2009


Director and Screenplay
Isabelle Stever
Johanna Nagel
Director of Photography
Rali Raltchev
Oliver Neumann
Silvio Naumann, Bastian Huber
Sound Mixing
Martin Steyer
Dirk Wilutzky, Tom Tykwer
Herbstfilm Produktion
Co-produced by
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)
In collaboration with
Theatrical release (Germany)
March 26, 2009
World Premiere
Berlinale 2009 - Competition