System Crasher (15)

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System Crasher (15)

Distributed in the UK and Ireland by 606 Distribution

1h 58mins | German language with English subtitles

Directed by Nora Fingscheidt

Starring Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriele Maria Schmeide, Lisa Hagmeister

Silver Bear Winner, Berlinale | London Film Festival | Winner of 45 international awards | Nominated for 10 Lola awards at the Deutscher Filmpreis

The release is supported by the Association of Child Protection Professionals and the BFI Film Audience Network


The vulnerability of childhood is laid bare in Nora Fingscheidt’s award winning System Crasher, a wrenching tale of a nine-year-old girl pushing Germany’s social care and welfare system to its limits.

Benni has already become what child protection services call a “system crasher”. Profoundly affected by childhood trauma, she is by turns bright, funny and charming, but can flip at any moment into terrifying violent outbursts.

Mrs. Bafané from child protection services is trying her best to find a permanent placement for Benni, to little success. She hires the anger management trainer Micha as Benni’s school escort and suddenly there is a seed of hope.

Will Micha be able to succeed where all others despaired?

A powerful story of a young girl who has lost her place in society, this is a no-holds-barred, deeply humane glimpse into the fraught and at times impossible world of child protection services. Driven by a powerhouse performance from Helena Zengel as the young Benni, System Crasher will leave you reeling.


★★★★★ “You’re watching a star being born” Film Inquiry

★★★★ “Child actor Helena Zengel is terrifying as a violent problem kid who tests the limits of everyone around her” The Guardian

★★★★ "Evoking Ken Loach at his fiercest... Zengel is extraordinary” Total Film

★★★★ "Zengel gives a tour-de-force performance... Fingscheidt's direction is equally raw yet sensitive" Empire

★★★★ "Heartbreakingly intimate.... Zengel is a revelation in the lead role" Time Out

★★★★★ The Upcoming | ★★★★★ Culturefly | ★★★★★ UK Film Review