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GAINING GROUND (LAND GEWINNEN)

What to know: For seven years, Andrej and his family have lived in Germany illegally.
GAINING GROUND (LAND GEWINNEN) is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
21 minutes
DVD
HAMBURG MEDIA SCHOOL
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GAINING GROUND (LAND GEWINNEN) cover image
Very touching story, well told. Dialogue is in German with English subtitles. For US kids, this offers a great lesson about valuing the opportunities you have here in this country. Very well produced with high production values, good script and good acting.
For seven years, Andrej and his family have lived in Germany illegally. Hoping for a better life, he once left the Ukraine with his wife Lena. Both work hard and can't afford much. Moreover, their almost seven-year-old son becomes isolated. When the boy runs off and into the near school, Andrej realizes that he needs to offer his son a future. There seems to be only one way out - forged papers. But those are expensive. Andrej works twice as much as before and doesn't shy away from dangerous jobs. He soon reaches his limits when, to make things worse, his father falls ill. Andrej has to send the hard-earned money home. Matters within the family gets worse. Andrej feels helpless. Misch wants to break out and Lena cannot cope with the situation any longer. She makes a suggestion: she could marry Winkelmann, their landlord. On paper, he could accept responsibility for Mischa, the boy would receive residency and all the problems would be solved. Andrej is devastated and afraid to lose what matters most - his family. With the courage of the desperate, he enters the school. He pleads with the school's director to admit his son. Andrej's courage finds respect and Mischa is allowed admittance to the school. Director: Marc Brummund; Producer: Yildiz Ozcan.
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