Alone in Four Walls 0+

(Allein in vier Wänden), Alexandra Westmeier, NĚM 2005, original version / Czech subtitles, 85 min

The German documentary Alone in Four Walls is about one of many youth correctional facilities in Russia. Delinquents under the age of 15 are incarcerated here for theft and murder. Their everyday life is ruled by strict regulations, study, work and, in their free time, football and basketball. Director Alexandra Westmeier captures their work, joys and sorrows. At the same time she uncovers some of the reasons children turn to crime: broken homes, alcoholism, drugs, street gangs, the disinterest of parents, perspectives without hope. That is the case of Tolja, who together with a friend beat another child with a block. As is apparent from interviews with the boy himself and his parents, Tolja had imagined a better life than the one he leads currently in the home. This unsentimental film shows these delinquents as both perpetrators of crimes and victims of the system in which they have grown up.


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