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Engelsby Police Department

58 Min. | 2004
  • Summary

    The police in Schleswig-Holstein tried to experiment with a pilot project in Flensburg: the large police stations would be disbanded and small police stations would be set up. Officers now work as social workers in the respective neighborhoods and thus test new policing methods. The first station of this kind was set up in Flensburg-Engelsby in 1998.

    With this insight, director Fredo Wulf opens his seemingly light-handed documentary film, delineating both the subject and the center of the film. From the very first shot, it becomes clear that nothing was created in haste and that time and courage was taken to leave nothing to chance. Quite on the contrary, the director and the camera capture and observe a very vital, sometimes hilarious, conflict-ridden, but always very personal encounter between the police and the residents in their care, many of them being foreigners, mostly Russians. Gert Nagel takes care of the youngest members of his community. He wants to alleviate them of their preexisting fear of the police. Some overstrained mothers threaten to call the cops on their kids. The welfare state will fix it alright. And it does. He tries to find a youth club for teenagers, but the adults already see it as another trouble zone and look at it with suspicion. Nagel is committed to the so-called "Red Zone", allowing the teenagers to keep their club. Moreover, since he has other and greater powers than a normal officer, he also intervenes in the tragic story of a young mother from Russia. She turns to officer Nagel, seconded by friends, because life has become unbearable with her drinking, wife-beating husband in Germany. From now on I will take care of you", Nagel promises - perhaps a little too briskly and too quickly as he temporarily expels the husband from the apartment, stating that he supports sending him back to his home country. Together with the shy mother, he and his friends go to court. It can be assumed that the mother will not go that far:

    The film observes and tells its story in a lively and exciting, yet pleasantly unspectacular and compelling way. The film depicts an attempt to reform life in a multilingual community that has to unite for better or worse.

  • Team

    Camera: Michael Chauvistre
    Producers: Wolfgang Kramer, NDR, Quinka Stoehr
    Editor: Margot Neubert-Maric
    Editorial Staff: Ulrike Dotzer, Bernd Michael Fincke

    Supported by
    MSH, Gesellschaft zur Förderung audiovisueller Werke in Schleswig-Holstein GmbH
    In collaboration with arte and contracted by NDR

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