Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse

Mr Bachmann and His Class
Where does one feel at home? In Stadtallendorf, a German city with a complex history of both excluding and integrating foreigners, genial teacher Dieter Bachmann offers his pupils the key to at least feeling as if they are at home. Aged between twelve and fourteen, these pupils come from twelve different nations; some have not quite mastered the German language. On the brink of retirement, Bachmann is eager to inspire these citizens-in-the-making with a sense of curiosity for a wide range of crafts, subjects, cultures and opinions. Watching this absorbing, sensitive documentary, one is overwhelmed with the realisation that, if only all children were blessed with such emotionally intelligent, ever-patient educators, conflict would be mitigated via discussion and John Lennon’s “Imagine” could be our reality. Those who, like filmmaker Maria Speth and her cinematographer Reinhold Vorschneider, are able to recognise and highlight so beautifully not only the importance of education but also what a quietly spectacular process it can be, are heroes in their own right, too.
by Maria Speth
with Dieter Bachmann, Aynur Bal, Önder Cavdar, Schüler*innen der Klasse 6 b, Schüler*innen der Klasse 6 f
Germany 2021 German 217’ Colour Documentary form Rating R0

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


  • Dieter Bachmann
  • Aynur Bal
  • Önder Cavdar
  • Schüler*innen der Klasse 6 b
  • Schüler*innen der Klasse 6 f


Director Maria Speth
Written by Maria Speth, Reinhold Vorschneider
Cinematography Reinhold Vorschneider
Editing Maria Speth
Sound Design Adrian Baumeister, Niklas Kammertöns
Sound Oliver Göbel
Line Producer Brigit Mulders
Producer Maria Speth

Maria Speth

Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1967, she has lived in Berlin since 1987. She worked as an assistant editor and director until 1995. In 1996, she took up a directing degree at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. In 2001, she directed her multi-award-winning debut feature film The Days Between. Her second feature, Madonnas, premiered in the Forum and won the 2007 Hessian Film Award. In 2009, she founded the Madonnen Film production company and made her first documentary, 9 Lives, for which she won the Metropolis German Directors Award. Her work most recently featured in the Forum in 2014 with Daughters.


1999 Barfuß (Barefoot); short film 2001 In den Tag hinein (The Days Between) 2007 Madonnen (Madonnas) 2010 9 Leben (9 Lives) 2014 Töchter (Daughters) 2021 Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse (Mr Bachmann and His Class)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021