On Probation

(Bürgschaft für ein Jahr)

GDR, 1981, 93 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Cast
Production Company

Synopsis

Nina Kern, a divorced woman in her late twenties, will soon be fully deprived of her custody rights for her three children, who already reside in a home for the displaced  due to Nina’s many years of willful neglect. Although she has broken her promise to change her moral conduct many times, she is given one last chance on probation.

 

A civil engineer and a teacher take on the responsibility of helping Nina and her 5 year-old daughter Mireille, who is soon to be released from the home. Nina makes a diligent effort to hold down her job as part of a subway cleaning crew and be a good mother to her daughter, but in the end, she comes to believe that she is not mature enough to bear the full burden of raising all of her children.

 

A touching film based on the novel by Tine Schulze-Gerlach.

Awards

1982 Best Contemporary DEFA Film of the Year 1981, Critic's Prize of the GDR Film and Television Professionals' Association
1982 Most Popular DEFA Film of the Year 1981, Film Award of "Neues Leben" youth magazine
1982 Gold Bear Nomination for Best Director (Herrmann Zschoche), Berlin International Film Festival
1982 Silver Bear for Best Actress (Katrin Sass), Berlin International Film Festival
1982 OCIC Prize, Berlin International Film Festival
1982 Gold Hugo Nomination for Best Director (Herrmann Zschoche), Chicago International Film Festival
1982 Best Director (Herrmann Zschoche), GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt
1982 Best Scenario (Gabriele Kotte), GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt
1982 Best Scenography (Dieter Adam), GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt
1982 Best Costume Design (Anne Hoffmann), GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt

Press comments

"A intense, not-sugar-coated film with the terrific Katrin Saß." 
— Progress Film-Verleih

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