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Films 2011


by Jessica Krummacher / Germany 2011 / 86' / in competition

Cast and credits

Original title / Totem

English title / Totem

Director / Jessica Krummacher

Screenplay / Jessica Krummacher

Cinematography / Björn Siepmann

Editing / Jessica Krummacher, Heike Parplies

Music / Marina Frenk

Sound / Daniel Schäkermann, Jochen Jesuzzek

Costumes / Anna Wübber, Sarah Bernardy

Cast / Marina Frenk (Fiona), Natja Brunckhorst (Claudia), Benno Ifland (Wolfgang), Alissa Wilms (Nicole), Cedric Koch (Jurgen), Fritz Fenne (Ulli), Dominik Buch (the swimming coach)

Production / Martin Blankemeyer, Jessica Krummacher, Philipp Budweg, Timo Müller

Production company / Arepo Media GMBH

Co-production companies / kLAPPbOXfiLME, Schlicht und Ergreifend Film, Munchner Filmwerkstatt, Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film Munchen

Format / DCP, colour, 1:1.85

Runtime / 86’


Fiona is hired as a maid and nanny by a middle-class family living in the Ruhr region, the Bauers: a father, mother, teenager daughter dating a boy older than her and a small child. Daily life is marked by precise rules and rituals and seems to pass normally between the swimming pool, family meals, idling in the garden and short walks. Discipline is imposed and reasserted perpetually. Yet very soon the family members’ neuroses and anxieties emerge, and roles and boundaries become distorted. In particular, the mother, suffering from early menopause, takes out her frustration and rage by treating two dolls as actual newborns, while the father, who is often away on business, has a morbid interest in Fiona that becomes increasingly more evident and dangerous.

Jessica Krummacher

Born and raised in Bochum in the Ruhr region, she currently lives in Berlin. She studied documentary and TV journalism at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film in Munich. Totem is her graduation film. In 2006 she founded her production company which realised Timo Müller’s debut feature, Morscholz, winner of the Forderpreis Deutscher Film for Best Director.