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English Titles B

Black Brothers, The

Original title: Schwarzen Brüder, Die
German title: Schwarzen Brüder, Die
Germany, 2013

Director: Koller, Xavier
Production company: Enigma, Starhaus, Dschoint Ventschr, Herold Productions
Co-producers: BR-TV, WDR, NDR, ARTE,
Age recommendation: 8 years and up

Eleven-year-old Giorgio lives in the mountain village of Sognono in the Ticino region of Switzerland. His family circumstances are poor but happy, until his mother is seriously injured in a forest fire and the father is unable to pay the doctor. Out of sheer necessity, he sells his son Giorgio to the Man-with-the-Scar, whose only goal is to turn the boy into profit. Giorgio is to work as a chimney-sweep apprentice in Milan.

But he is not completely alone. During his dangerous journey to Milan, he meets up with Alfredo, who shares a similar fate. However, with the crusader-stories he tells, he manages to give Giorgio the much-needed courage to endure his grief even in hostile, enemy territory. They become blood-brothers.

On the very day of their arrival in Milan`s hustle and bustle, Giorgio and Alfredo are sold to
different chimney-sweep masters in an unparalleled display of human bartering. Although
Giorgio is fortunate to have been chosen by good-natured Master Battista, his wife and son
Anselmo are a true challenge. They miss no opportunity to make Giorgio`s life miserable. The
family`s only ray of sunshine is Angeletta, who, however, suffers from a serious illness.
An icy wind whips through the concrete canyons of Milan, while the members of the
“Wolves”, a Milan street-gang, lie in wait at every corner. They are the sworn enemies of the
“spazzacamini”, the chimney-sweep apprentices. In addition, Giorgio`s work in the building
proves to be almost inhuman. Acting as a living broom, Giorgio must crawl into the hot
chimneys in order to free them from the soot with his bare hands.

As fate would have it, he meets Alfredo once again, who has managed to turn his crusader`s
fantasies into reality by founding the league of “The Black Brothers”. Giorgio becomes a
member. The “Black Brothers” have sworn an oath to come to each others`s aid and, together,
fight against any hostilities including those from the “Wolves”.

At the moment of the “Black Brothers“`greatest triumph, their leader, Alfredo, dies as a result
of the brutal working conditions. Giorgio is in the process of continuing his friend`s legacy by
organizing the “Black Brothers”` escape to Ticino, when he, too, is involved in a serious
accident. The brotherhood seems destined to break apart. In this crisis situation, however, it
turns out that even worst enemies can be of the greatest help. But the escape on Christmas Day has a long way to go yet before its final success, because the Man-with-the-Scar wants to prevent the loss of his “possession“ at all costs...

Scheduled release: 2013

Marketing strategies:
Based on the famous book by Lisa Tetzner and Kurt Held. Main actors: Moritz Bleibtreu, Richy Müller and others.

Zürich FF 2013, Michel Hamburg 2013, Schlingel Chemnitz 2013, Juniorfest Plzen 2013 (awarded), Castellinaria Bellinzona 2013, Stuttgart CFF 2013, Tumbleweeds Utah 2014, Golden Sparrow CFF Erfurt/Gera 2014 (awarded), Krakow CFF 2014, Cinekid Amsterdam 2014, Molodist Kiew 2014 (awarded), Giffoni Macedonia 2015, Freeze Frame Winnipeg 2021

Website: dieschwarzenbrueder-film.de

World sales address/es:
Global Screen (DE)

Sold to:
Studiocanal (DE)
Bundesverband Jugend und Film (DE)