Screened as part of NZIFF 2012

This Ain’t California 2012

Directed by Marten Persiel

A finely crafted, vividly edited and moving portrait of three friends who became part of the underground skateboarding culture in East Germany in the 70s and 80s.

Germany In German with English subtitles
90 minutes



Ronald Vietz
Michael Schöbel


Marten Persiel
Ira Wedel


Felix Leiberg


Maxine Gödicke
Toni Froschhammer
Bobby Good


Lars Damm


Berlin 2012

A punk odyssey of three boys, Nico, Dirk and Dennis, and their unwavering passion for skateboarding under the oppressive regime of the German Democratic Republic. Growing up inside soulless cement housing blocks, they escaped by free-boarding concrete catacombs on home-made skateboards. This epic coming-of-age saga, documenting their friendship from the 70s through to their last summer together in 1989, comes off like The Big Chill of skater docs: director Persiel reunites the group to reminisce about a friend who has recently died. Primarily told through Nico’s perspective, the film features a stunning mix of film techniques: animation, Super 8, archival fused with an eclectic soundtrack of frenzied tunes. It is Dennis whose star shines the brightest as the group’s wild-eyed, handsome, fearless and highly sexual leader. A love letter to skateboarding and to a dear friend, this engrossing tale reaches an emotional payout that will leave many teary-eyed. — AT