by Edward Berger

Berlin-based and New York-trained director Edward Berger delivers a pleasingly non-judgmental yet stirring tale about courage and responsibility.

JACK RUNS. Everything he does is infused with purpose, every muscle in his taut little body focused on getting things done. Getting up on time. Waking his little brother Manuel. Going to school. Preparing dinner. A lot for a child. But with a single mother, Sanna, who's sweet, girlish and utterly unable to cope, JACK RUNS THE HOUSE – and runs it well. Until an accident breaks their little community apart: Child Welfare assigns Jack to a state-run home. When the holidays arrive, but Sanna doesn't pick him up and another boy bullies him with tragic results, he flees. On foot. Across the vast expanse of Berlin. To Sanna, who is nowhere to be found. Picking up Manuel from a friend of his mother's, he crisscrosses the city in search of his mother. JACK RUNS INTO TROUBLE. The two boys need food, rest, sleep, but Jack keeps going, fear and anguish written in his face, desperately searching for Sanna, desperate to avoid being sent back to the home. JACK RUNS OUT OF STEAM. After what seems like an eternity, Jack finds Sanna. And comes to a drastic realization...

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German / 103 minutes
Original title
directed by
produced by
Port-au-Prince Film & Kultur Produktion in coproduction with Cine Plus Film, Neue Bioskop Film, Mixtvision Mediengesellschaft and Zero West
  • Ivo Pietzcker
  • Georg Arms
  • Nele Mueller-Stöfen
  • Vincent Redetzki

Press Quotes

“Handsomely lensed and intelligently performed…”

“Made with sensitivity, skill and honesty.”

“A sensitive, compassionate and engagingly unsentimental portrait of two boys and their rather brutal plight”
Screen Daily

"Channeled through one strong child, this is crystal-clear social criticism. Outstanding."

"Jack's ways are more urgent, more insistent, literally more 'needy.' Which means that Jack's breathing becomes the underlying melody of the drama that is accentuated by symphonic string sounds at only two spots […] Jack is a hero who, despite his distress, is drawn in a very dignified and complex manner."
Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten

"It's hard to look this film in the eye – but it's also hard not to."
"'Jack' is all the more intense through its reticence."
"'Jack' is a film that is amazingly uncompromising. Ivo Pietzcker is a stroke of luck for Berger's particular narrative style, in which large parts of the story unfold only in his face."
Stuttgarter Zeitung

"Edward Berger sketches the moving portrait of a child in a brutal, indifferent, overwhelmed world. As the boy, Ivo Pietzcker is exceptionally impressive – a discovery!"
Süddeutsche Zeitung

"Jack is a strong film hero. He deserves respect, not sentimentality or maudlin displays of concern."
Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung

"A Berlin film worth seeing"
"The film 'Jack' thrives from this perspective."
"'Jack' is pure cinema, in the sense that one lets pictures speak rather than deliver explanations; one looks in vain for superfluous 'beauty shots' – there's not a gram of fat on the bones of this story."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Jack becomes a Charlie Chaplin, or, more appropriately, a Charles Dickens character 2.0, but without any comedic elements and milieu romanticism."
Die Welt

"'Jack' is the best type of German sociological cinema, without any ifs and buts.'Jack' is a drama that literally goes under your skin. You'll find it hard to pull away, but then again, you won't want to. Young Ivo Pietzcker's performance is stupendous: he acts as if he weren't being followed by a camera."Mitteldeutsche Zeitung"Grippingly authentic"

"Berger's film is weighty and decisive"
TAZ Die Tageszeitung

"Edward Berger's 'Jack' is utterly convincing, a big movie about little kids."
Die Welt

"Director Berger […] manages not to make a didactic film by pointing a morally righteous index finger at anyone."
Berliner Morgenpost

"An uncommon film. A small sensation"
Berliner Zeitung

"Powerful and impressive German cinema with an outstanding main actor"