They have stolen, committed assault, killed: all whilst still under fourteen years of age. These youngsters, who live in closed institutions in the Urals, are all quite ready to recount their offences and their lives. Their unhappy expressions only brighten when they talk of their passions and their hopes. This rehabilitation centre provides them with food and clothing. They go to school and practice sports. They no longer have to fight to survive, since they have found a temporary refuge. Many of them have had no family or reliable support in life. There is no place for them in the sad world of their parents, who are often alcoholics, unemployed, living in hovels. Tolja, a murderer, is soon to be released. His village offers him no chance of redemption: ‘They should execute the kid’.
Alexandra Westmeier was born in 1973 in Chelyabinsk, Russia and studied directing at State Academy of the Theatrical Arts in St Petersburg and Moscow. After working as a TV reporter in her hometown, she moved to Germany and directed the documentaries ‘Fremde. Heimat. Studium.’ (2003), ‘Finde mich’ (2005), and ‘Mum, I’m fine…’ (2007), ‘Alone in Four Walls’ (2008).
Alone in Four Walls
2007, 85', color, video
Linger On Film production
Festivals & Awards:
2007 Locarno International Film Festival - Critics’ Week Award; 2008 Saarbruecken - Film Prize of the Saarland; 2008 Achtung Berlin! – New Berlin Film Award - Berlin – Best Cinematography