König’s children

30-minute documentary for the ARD

Opinions are divided in Jena when it comes to the pastor Lothar König. Many would appreciate to get rid of him and the street children he has been taken care of since many years. But the regional church stands behind him and his Young Community Stadtmitte in his daily fight against prejudices and societal problems.
Remo has just turned 18 and has been living on the street for years. During the nights he sleeps in abandoned buildings or at a friend’s place. In the daytime you can meet the lanky boy with its colored hair at the Young Community Stadtmitte in Jena. Just as many other street children who have found something like a surrogate father in Lothar König. In GDR-times the Young Community was already famous because politics were always talked here, punks came over and writers like Jürgen Fuchs and Lutz Rathenow were invited. The rear building at Johannesstraße also offers a shelter for youths who have difficulties coming to terms with their lives, who cannot or don’t want to go back home. More than 100 children have found their way back from here to their parents’ place.

The film accompanies König and his protégés through their difficult everyday life. The parents of the young dropouts talk about their fears and sorrows and about their experiences with authorities. But critics of the pastor have their say, too: a councilor from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and a teacher. The chief constable, however, supports König.

Written by: Anna Schmidt, Gundula Kienemund
Direction: Anna Schmidt
Director or Photography: Thomas Koppehele
Sound: Harry Carius
Editor: Mario Biehl