DEFA Sponsoring Prize< >
for an outstanding German documentary film
9 Leben (9 Lives) by Maria Speth (Germany)
In her long-term documentation Maria Speth brings nine young people from the streets into the studio. Abuse and neglect have made them leave their parental homes and accept a life of homelessness. Marginalized by society, they tell about a life dominated by drugs and violence. But as shocking as their stories may sound – they are always about friendship and togetherness which these youngsters have only been able so far to experience in the streets.
With long and steady camera settings, in the artificial atmosphere of the studio, Maria Speth gives the protagonists a chance to speak out freely without being commented upon. With her emotional and associative mode of narration she breaks with stereotypes about homeless people and creates impressive portraits of nine interesting personalities.