"Benni needs a long-term solution"
Added 8th March 2020
Review by: Jane Alexandra Foster
Released in 2020
9 year old Benni has been in the ‘system’ for years. The result of early abuse, she has serious anger management and rebellion issues and is so antisocial even her own Mother cannot deal with her. She is also a bright spark, and has a force of nature inside her which is irrepressible, and charismatic.
However, passed around, Benni becomes more objectionable with every home, center and program she’s placed with, until fate sends her anger management trainer Micha. Can Micha, with his own experience of teenage boys help, or is Benni destined not only to crash every program meant to help her, but reject even those who try to understand her.
What shines out like a diamond is the performance of the young actress who plays Benni. Helena Zengel is simply stunning, and she is what really makes this film special. As an exploration and debate about those unfortunate children, that through very little fault of their own wind up in the ‘system’, ‘System Crasher’ works very, very well. Painful, but funny and heart warming too, this is a film that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt they are not part of any system.
The support role, of ‘Micha,’ played expertly and sensitively by German talent and rising star, Albrecht Schuch, is also balanced and layered, and yet a ‘real’ role. Here is no -do-gooder social worker, but a young man who has been through the same system, had the same issues and faced the same choices and heartbreaks as Benni, but has triumphed.
Naturalistic in its look and tone, this is not a film made to be glossy, yet its look fits purpose wonderfully, with great framing and ‘narrative’ photography which helps tell the story beautifully. Emotive, sensitive, ‘System Crasher,’ bravely shows human frailty and, sadly how nurture is so very important to humans, yet how in our modern society, we still often fail those who need us most: Our children. It will reach many, and can be related to on many levels.
Wonderfully drawn characters, and great writing are matched by great directing. Both are by young German, female writer/director, Nora Fingscheidt. Showing a maturity and vision which promise a long and wonderful career, Fingscheidt won the Silver Bear for ‘System Crasher’ at Berlin in 2019.
Excellent on many levels, this is award winning, hard hitting drama in its purest sense, and although not the best choice for a Saturday night in with friends, it is a wonderful film to take seriously, and ponder over.
THE B CLUB RATING : B b b B B
Director: Nora Fingscheidt
The B Club
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