System Crasher (Systemsprenger)
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Benni (Helena Zengel) is a troubled, confrontational nine-year-old, somewhat abandoned by her exasperated mother and left in the care of social services, where practitioners are running out of options for how to deal with her. She is assigned a school escort, Micha Heller (Albrecht Schuch), who soon offers empathy when everyone else is giving up on her. But will that be enough to help her? Nora Fingscheidt’s striking debut feature is a sensitive and moving depiction of mental illness, challenging the way it is treated. At the centre of the film is an incredible, ferocious performance from Zengel, who electrifies every scene she appears in. MH