Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Die Reise nach Sundevit

The Journey to Sundevit

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The Journey to Sundevit is being screened on the occasion of the presentation of the 2018 Heiner Carow Prize. Since 2013, the award, sponsored by the DEFA Foundation, has been given to a German documentary, fiction or essay film from the Panorama section. This year’s jury members are writer and filmmaker Helene Hegemann, DEFA Foundation researcher Barbara Barlet and actor and composer Christian Steyer.

Tim, the son of a lighthouse keeper, meets a group of Free German Youth Pioneers in the Baltic dunes. They invite him to spend the rest of the summer holidays with them at Cape Sundevit. But Tim has to run an errand first, which takes longer than expected because people keep asking him for help. He misses the group’s departure, so the ten-year old boy sets out alone, on foot and hitchhiking, hoping to catch up with his new friends before the ferry sails …
Made three years before Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, USA, 1969) under the vast skies of the Darss peninsula, this was a road movie “avant la lettre”. Permanent departures are a central subject in this film version of a children’s book whose author was a cabin boy in his youth. A bicycle, a cart, a car, a tank and a motorcycle are the vehicles of constant acceleration here, transporting the young hero from the realm of necessity (“you should always help if you can”) to the realm of freedom. But what the enthusiastic young “Treasure Island” readers encounter there is not gleaming “pieces of eight” but rather gestures of friendly solidarity.

Heiner Carow

German Democratic Republic 1966


75’ · Black/White


Fritz Bartholdt (father Tammer)
Ralf Strohbach (Tim Tammer)
Ursula Wolf (mother Tammer)
Ralph Borgwardt (Theo Brom)
Peter Dommisch (waiter)
Günter Drescher (policemen)
Horst Drinda (patrol officer)
Hans Hardt-Hardtloff (Bradenkuhl)
Detlef Heintze (Henry)
Ilse Hirt (old woman)
Siegfried Höchst (Kalli)
Otmar Richter (Herbertchen)
Ernst-Georg Schwill (worker)
Peter Stegmann (Hermann)
Arno Wyzniewski (Oberwachtmeister Schröder)


Heiner Carow
Heiner Carow, Benno Pludra, based on the story of the same name by Benno Pludra
Director of Photography
Jürgen Brauer
Erika Lehmphul
Karl-Ernst Sasse


Heiner Carow

Born in Rostock in 1929, he died in Berlin in 1997. At 21 he joined the directing class at the DEFA training school in East Berlin. Following numerous short documentaries, he transferred to the DEFA feature film studio. He directed successful children's and youth films and, from the 1970s, feature films for adults. Die Legende von Paul und Paula (1972/73) became his greatest success. He won the Silver Bear at the 1990 Berlinale for Coming Out. Since 2013 the DEFA-Foundation has presented the Heiner Carow Prize for feature-length films in the Berlinale Panorama.


1953 Ein Schritt weiter; short documentary 1954 Dorf im Herbst; short documentary · Der Strukturbohrer [Jg.1954 / Folge 06]; short documentary, co-director: Alfred Siegert, Lothar Devaal · Die Wette gilt; short documentary · Forschen und Schaffen. Folge VI; short documentary, Co-director: Alfred Siegert, Lothar Devaal 1956 Martins Tagebuch; short documentary 1957 Sheriff Teddy 1959 Sie nannten ihn Amigo 1960 Das Leben beginnt 1961 Mongolia; documentary 1964 Die Hochzeit von Länneken 1966 Die Reise nach Sundevit 1968 Die Russen kommen; Forbidden film, premiere in 1987 1971 Karriere 1973 Die Legende von Paul und Paula 1975 Ikarus 1978 Bis daß der Tod euch scheidet 1989 Coming out · Zweiradshow; short documentary, co-director: Jürgen Voigt 1992 Verfehlung

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme

World sales

Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen