Sorry Genosse

Sorry Comrade
The first time that Hedi and Karl-Heinz meet there’s magic in the air, but they are initially forced to become pen pals. And so, separated by the Iron Curtain, the West German left-wing activist and the Thuringian medical student have to explore their feelings by post. Meetings in Prague and Bulgaria soon follow, as does their burning desire to live together. Disenchanted with capitalism and the USA’s claim to power anyway, Karl-Heinz decides to move to the GDR. But life under socialism comes at a price: the Stasi inform him that he will only be granted a residence permit if he spies for them. The Stasi’s initial wooing of Karl-Heinz soon turns into harassment which also affects Hedi. Disillusioned, the couple is forced to rethink. They come up with a bold plan for Hedi to leave the country and head to West Germany via Romania using a false passport. But then, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.
This playfully told story of a great love and a madcap escape gives us an unusual take on German-German history in which, for the film’s protagonists, both states – the GDR and the Federal Republic – are simultaneously a reason to escape and the place they yearn to be.
by Vera Brückner
with Karl-Heinz Stützel, Hedwig Stützel, Brigitte Ulrich, Lothar Thiel, Lisa Rumpel
Germany 2022 German 94’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


  • Karl-Heinz Stützel (Karl-Heinz)
  • Hedwig Stützel (Hedi)
  • Brigitte Ulrich (Gitti)
  • Lothar Thiel (Lothar)
  • Lisa Rumpel (Lisa)


Written and Directed by Vera Brückner
Cinematography Felix Pflieger
Editing Sophie Oldenbourg
Music Guliano Loli, Florian Paul, Nils Wrasse
Sound Design Andreas Goldbrunner
Sound Jannik Flieger, Cornelia Böhm
Production Design Lisa Geller
Animation Benedikt Sommer
Graphic Design Benedikt Sommer
Assistant Director Annelie Boros
Executive Producer Natalie Lambsdorff
Producers Fabian Halbig, Florian Kamhuber, Melanie Gardisch
Co-Production Bayerischer Rundfunk München
In Cooperation with Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München

Vera Brückner

Born in Munich, Germany in 1988, she graduated with a BA in photographic design from the Munich University of Applied Sciences in 2012 and a diploma in documentary film directing and TV journalism at the University of Television and Film Munich in 2021. As part of her studies and beyond she worked on documentary, journalistic and fiction projects as a director, producer and cinematographer. Her work was selected by festivals including DOK Leipzig, Visions du Réel Nyon, CPH:DOX, Cannes Short Film Corner and the Montreal World Film Festival and has received the Bavarian Film and Television Fund’s development award.


2013 What Happens When the Heart Just Stops; short film 2015 Mars Closer; short film · True Stories*New York; documentary web series 2019 Nö York (Nay York); short film · Kadinin Sesi – Die Stimme der Frau (Kadinin Sesi – The Voice of the Women); short film 2022 Sorry Genosse (Sorry Comrade)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022