Shattered Glass

by Chris Kraus

A broken family. A tragic illness. The will to live...

"A tale, seemingly from another era. Of adolescent wildness of emotions, on the brink of madness yet filled with tormenting sorrow, of longing for true love and the inevitable farewell to youth." - Volker SchlöndorffInvited to his father's mansion for a party, Jesko is enraged to discover that the invitation is a bold deception. He has leukemia, and his father and brother Ansgar are hoping that a bone marrow transplant from his long-lost mother might save him. Sullen and self-pitying, Jesko has no desire to see his mother, who during her swift descent into schizophrenia many years ago had almost killed him and Ansgar. Once beautiful, her illness had transformed her into a despairing shell of a woman.Stifling his impulse to flee, Jesko nevertheless alienates himself from his family with his sarcastic abuse. When her bone-marrow proves unsuitable, his mother, in a moment of clarity and spurred by an instinctive love for her son, reveals the painful secret which could be the only alternative left for Jesko - his father's illegitimate child. Reluctant to believe the charge, he confronts his father.Now Jesko is forced to recognize that his father would rather sacrifice him than endanger his bourgeois façade. Jesko and his mother search for evidence, but they are discovered by his father and brother and angrily expelled from the estate. Defiantly returning, Jesko crashes a party taking place in the mansion.Suddenly he sees his mother entering the ballroom on the arm of a young man he has never met  before.

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German / 90 minutes
Original title
directed by
Chris Kraus (FOUR MINUTES)
director of photography
produced by
av communication production in co-production with SWR, BR and ARTE in association with Beta
  • Jürgen Vogel (THE WAVE, THE FREE WILL)
  • Margit Carstensen
  • Peter Davor
  • Dietrich Hollinderbäumer