Screened as part of NZIFF 2012

Stopped on Track 2011

Halt auf freier Strecke

Directed by Andreas Dresen

Acclaimed, flawlessly naturalistic drama of what happens to an ordinary family when a husband and father becomes terminally ill. “This is a film that will likely return to haunt and perhaps even to succour its audiences.” — The Telegraph

Germany In German with English subtitles
110 minutes



Peter Rommel


Andreas Dresen
Cooky Ziesche


Michael Hammon


Jörg Hauschild

Production designer

Susanne Hopf

Costume designer

Sabine Greunig


Steffi Kühnert (Simone)
Milan Peschel (Frank)
Talisa Lilli Lemke (Lilli)
Mika Nilson Seidel (Mika)
Ursula Werner (Simone’s mother)
Marie Rosa Tietjen (Simone’s sister)
Otto Mellies (Frank’s father)
Christine Schorn (Frank’s mother)
Bernhard Schütz (Stefan)


Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Vancouver, London 2011


Un Certain Regard Award, Cannes Film Festival 2011


Andreas Dresen’s flawlessly naturalistic drama bears honest witness to the toughest of situations: the shifting mass of pain, anger, resignation, lightness and love with which a man and his family negotiate his decline and death from an inoperable brain tumour. In coping with the unthinkable, this family, like so many before and since, often falters but also discovers reserves of unconditional love they never knew they possessed. Dresen involved healthcare and social-work professionals in tracing the progress of degeneration and in improvising the interactions in his film. Their contributions, including their admissions of ignorance and powerlessness, inform his quietly upbeat picture of a society functioning on compassion to comfort the dying and console the grieving. There’s no inspirational agenda at work here, yet this film’s recognition of bitter ordinary experience honours suffering with such clear-eyed humanity that it feels like a blessing conferred. — BG