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Arlette - Courage is A Muscle

German title: Arlette. Mut ist ein Muskel
Germany, Switzerland, 2015

Director: Hoffmann, Florian
Production company: PS Film, Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb)
Co-producers: SRF, 3sat
Age recommendation: 11 years and up
Length: 84 min.
Film genre: Documentary

Fifteen-year-old Arlette trades her home in the Central African Republic for medical treatment in Berlin. Her knee got injured years ago during the fighting in her country, and a German benefactor has decided to pay for the operation she needs so badly. The teenager is scared stiff, knows no one and doesn’t speak a word of German, but she embarks on the journey all the same. Arlette – Courage Is a Muscle simply follows the courageous young lady along the way. Initially, she hides behind her headphones and just takes it all in. In the midst of culture shock, she also discovers snow, strange food and people she can trust. Arlette approaches this new world with trepidation and homesickness, but she is also full of wonder. She photographs her exotic environment using her Polaroid camera. At the rehabilitation center she goes to after the hospital, many of the older Germans can’t help but stare at her; Arlette becomes restless and defiant. The transition from child to adult is sudden and accelerated, both physically and psychologically. In the meantime, Arlette can’t wait to return to her family, but when the time comes, the rebels have taken up arms again and circumstances force the girl to make another very grown-up decision.

IDFA Amsterdam 2015, Stockholm Junior 2016

World sales address/es:
PS Film (CH)