Back to top

Things I don’t get

GER 2018, 71 min

In a small German town near the edge of the Ruhr region, a farmboy tries to find his place in the world. Torn back and forth between city and country-side, between best friend and older brother, between the present and tradition, Johannes longs for acknowledgement and adventure.


The 15-year-old farmer prefers to skip class and go around downtown rather than spend his time at school. His father and his older brother neglect him and he spends most of his time with his friend Marika. As their friendship gradually turns into love, Johannes does not know where he belongs anymore. He goes hunting with his father and other people, he starts going out with his brother at night and he distances himself from Marike, who turns away from him in disappointment. He trries to get away from it all – but he can't get away from himself.


Rent or buy the movie on our Vimeo channel.
Language: German, Subtitles: English

Awards and Festivals

- Internationale Hofer Filmtage 2018 – „Bild-Kunst-Förderpreis“, „Bestes Kostümbild“ und „Bestes Szenenbild“
- Förderpreis „Neues Deutsches Kino“ 2018 – „Lobende Erwähnung“
- Poitiers Film Festival 2018 – „Publikumspreis"
- Achtung Berlin Festival – New Berlin Film Award 2019 „Beste Produktion“
- HEIMAT/EN Filmfestival 2019
- Festival Der Neue Heimatfilm 2019

Additional Texts

Director's Statement

At the beginning of the creative process there was a small city at the outskirts of the Ruhr region. Ennepetal, my old hometown, would serve as a canvas in order to paint a clearer picture of  my dilemmas about identity. Thus I would constantly be drawn to images of my childhood during the writing process. There was a longing for place that only existed in my imagination. A longing for a feeling of freedom, for an upbringing in the countryside, for riding a bike at night, for the experience of feeling unstoppable, almost heroic. I wanted to tell the stories of my thoughts and dreams, but also put them into question; they are, after all, being glorified because of my current distance from my hometown. The film was made with the young people from the town in a very close collaboration. Based on the starting point of “five things that I don’t understand” (“Fünf Dinge, die ich nicht verstehen”), I wanted to have an up-to-date impression how it is to grow up in such an environment. At the center of this coming of age story, are the contrast between the present-day and tradition,  and the confrontation with themes like friendship, Family, and emancipation. It is a time in which everything happens for the first time: the first kiss, the first drink or cigarette, and as shown in this story, the first use of a fire-arm.


Henning Beckhoff
Paula Cvjetkovic, Henning Beckhoff
Jerome Hirthammer, Henning Flüsloh, Peter Lohmeyer, Michelle Tiemann, Victoria Schulz, Anna Böttcher
Director of Photography
Sabine Panossian
Anna Miya Katshunga, Emma Alice Gräf
Inma Galiot
Production Design
Josefine Lindner
Michèle Tonteling, Lena Wellhöfer
Nils Gradlowsky, Matthias Rupp
Sound Design
Darius Shahidifar
Diana Hellwig, Genia S. Krassnig, Henning Beckhoff
Produced by
Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Theatrical Release


Audio Commentary by Henning Beckhoff and Sabine Panossian, Trailer, Pitch Video
English, French
Country Code
PAL / Color
68 min + 6 min Extras
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
DD 2.0 + 5.1
Set Content
Softbox (Set Content: 1)
Release Date
From 6 Years

Distribution Details

Screening Format
DCP (2K, 24 fps, 5.1)
Blu-ray Disc
Aspect Ratio
Promotion Material
Trailer, Teaser, A1-Poster
License Area
Germany, Austria, Swiss
From 6 Years