Length: 30 minutes (ZDF, 22 July 2003, in the series “37°”)
Christian (14) was gravely neglected by his mother. His homosexual uncle kidnapped him in the course of a “cloak and dagger” operation, saving the child from the impending threat of a children’s home. He was 9 years old at the time. He spent the first few weeks with his new “father” and his boyfriend. Christian was anything but delighted. He was teased by his schoolmates because everyone in the neighbourhood knew that Christian was now living with two “gays”. There was nowhere to hide in this small town in the Eifel region, which meant the boy was forced to take sides. The choice became increasingly easier for him because his new “parents” showed the kind of loving care that had been so lacking. Even the local youth authorities at social services were impressed by so much interest and parental competence. Nowadays nearly everyone in the village has gotten used to this somewhat different family model, and Christian is glad to be with his uncle. Despite that, now that he is 14 he has decided that girls definitely interest him more than boys.
With Patricia it was a completely different story. Her parent’s marriage seemed to be a happy one. Then one day – Patricia was 12 at the time – her father told her that he wanted to get a divorce. After being married for 18 years, he had to face the fact that he had no way of getting around homosexual inclinations that were becoming stronger and stronger. He had fallen in love with a man. Patricia was speechless. That her father wanted to part ways with her mother for a reason like this was very difficult for Patricia to cope with. Her shining image of “Dad” fell apart from one day to the next. For nearly a year Patricia kept silent about how her own father had “disgraced” her. When Carina, her sister, was with friends, she always referred to Bernd, Daddy’s new partner, as “Bernadette” in order to keep up appearances. More than a year went by until one day she became hopping mad when schoolfriends kept cracking jokes about gay men. When asked why she was getting so excited, she felt she had no other choice than to explain how things are. She told them about her father and his friend. Almost all of her friends stood by her. Even Patricia gradually changed her attitude towards her father. The sisters eventually moved to their father’s, and now live together with him and his companion for life in Cologne, Germany.
Valentin Thurn narrates how adolescents cope with the situation when fathers are suddenly very different from what one had assumed the whole time, and no longer correspond to what is a commonly accepted role model. How does the relationship between father and child change? How do you yourself change?
Video (approx. 10 mn(German))
Screenplay and Director: Valentin Thurn
Camera: Hans Hausmann
Sound: Erik Ullrich
Editor: Katja Tornow
Narration: Josef Tratnik
Executive Producer: Brigitte Klos
A production by Valentin Thurn Film commissioned by ZDF