Die Frist

Die Frist

Documentary Film
78 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Philipp Schall, Johanna Teichmann
Karin Becker
Dimitrios Ntontis, Sebastian Fillenberg
Franz Kastner, Fabio Stoll, Carla Muresan
Elisabeth Raßbach
Karin Becker, Silvia Wolkan
Hagen von Sayn-Wittgenstein
It’s a “rite of passage” of a different kind: reporting for a prison sentence. There are many documentations of life behind bars. But what happens just before, in the period between the verdict and the start of the prison sentence, during which people must take leave from the whole of their former life and are facing a step into the unknown? At first even this intermediate period is uncertain until the precise date of imprisonment is communicated. The convicts have minimal time to prepare for this new chapter in their lives. The psychological stress is a heavy burden.

“The Wait” follows three protagonists through this period. They develop different strategies: Vitali, father of a family and business owner, immerses himself in organisational matters. Jürgen, who was in prison before, clears out his flat and gets a tattoo, hoping to be able to delay his prison sentence with the help of a medical certificate. Guang, who comes from Taiwan, looks for a higher meaning. Prison must be part of the scheme of life the universe has planned for her. She finds this hard to accept, since she’s suffering from anxiety attacks. She gets help via Skype conversations with her Buddhist master. After his release he’s going to write a self-help book, Vitali jokes. To make it easier for others.

Annina Wettstein

Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize