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System Crasher(Systemsprenger)

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Germany · 2019
1h 58m
Director Nora Fingscheidt
Starring Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Lisa Hagmeister
Genre Drama

Benni, a wild 9-year old girl, has exhausted her mother with her violent outbursts. Too young for psychiatric treatment and too old for foster care, she latches onto a social worker who might be her only hope.

Stream System Crasher

What are people saying?

Asia Cureton Profile picture for Asia Cureton

This film is a great, sympathetic look at children who struggle with psychological issues and where these issues may have arisen from. I finished the movie feeling a lot more sympathetic for children with behavioral issues, who are often dismissed as "trouble children." The performances are great, especially from young Helena Zengel. It also is a great look at how Europe, particularly Germany, differs from American in psychiatric care. A great, informative, and powerful film!

What are critics saying?


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Zengel is a balled-up fist of energy in the title role, getting across the sweetness that can convince those who take pity on Benni that “she’s making progress,” but unleashing hell in a flash to remind them she isn’t.


The Irish Times by Tara Brady

This is a wildly impressive first narrative feature, powered along by a strong cast, great chemistry, virtuoso flourishes, and fierce energy.


CineVue by Tom Duggins

System Crasher is the outstanding feature film debut of German director Nora Fingscheidt. A tremendous slice of life filled with light and energy, which doesn’t shy away from the tough realities of what social care is like for children with severe developmental issues.


The Observer (UK) by Wendy Ide

Most essential is the central performance: Zengel’s oscillating wild joys and storming furies are painful to watch. A moment when she howls for her mother (always tantalisingly out of reach) brought me to tears.

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