Sweet Thing

Streuner und Banditen
“So where do we gonna go now?” – “My dad lives in Florida.” – “So we are on the run?” – “Ya, we’re outlaws and renegades.”

For Billie and Nico, life with their father is a roller-coaster ride of playfulness and unease. When he is in the grip of alcohol, tears flow and their apparently idyllic family life collapses. Their mostly absent and irresponsible mother is not much help either. But their friendship with Malik, a boy of Billie’s age, frees them from their shackles. Together they embark on a journey full of intense moments of freedom. The colourful, emotional world of the three young people is depicted in kaleidoscopic black and white imagery, which opens space for their own notions of childhood. Alexandre Rockwell's tale portrays a profound sense of solidarity and deep love: for cinema and Billie Holiday, and also for risk and adventure.
by Alexandre Rockwell
with Lana Rockwell, Nico Rockwell, Jabari Watkins, Will Patton, Karyn Parsons, ML Josepher
USA 2020 English 91’ Black/White & Colour World premiere recommendation: 13 years and up


  • Lana Rockwell (Billie)
  • Nico Rockwell (Nico)
  • Jabari Watkins (Malik)
  • Will Patton (Adam)
  • Karyn Parsons (Eve)
  • ML Josepher (Beaux)


Written and Directed by Alexandre Rockwell
Cinematography Lasse Tolbøll
Editing Alan Wu
Sound Design Alexandre Rockwell
Sound Alan Wu
Production Design Andy Curtin
Casting Haley Elizabeth Anderson
Assistant Director Louis Anania
Production Manager Kenan Baysal
Producers Kenan Baysal, Louis Anania, Haley Elizabeth Anderson
Executive Producers Jennifer Beals, Will Patton, Sam Rockwell, Damien Newman, Hedy Groth Putegnat, Elaine Walsh

World sales

UDI - Urban Distribution International

Produced by

Black Horse Productions

Alexandre Rockwell

While still a teenager, the filmmaker learnt his craft from his grandfather in Paris: the Russian animator Alexander Alexeieff and his wife, the American Claire Parker, originated pinscreen animation. Rockwell attended the Cinémathèque Française and began directing short films in the 1980s. His debut feature, Lenz, screened at the 1982 Berlinale. He made his international breakthrough with In the Soup in 1992 and went on to further success with Four Rooms, Somebody to Love and Little Feet. In 2017, he was appointed head of directing at the graduate film department of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.


1979 Lenz 1982 Hero 1986 Sons 1992 In the Soup 1994 Somebody to Love 1995 Four Rooms · Les haricots sans sale; documentary 1998 Louis & Frank 2002 13 Moons 2006 L.A. Story; short film · Moe, Mo, & Buddha 2010 Pete Small Is Dead 2014 Little Feet · Sashinka; short film 2015 Home 2019 Sweet Thing

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020