social | youth
D 2010 | 89 min
Jan Raiber with his mother
© 2010 Jan Raiber
Jan Raiber mit Mutter
© 2010 Jan Raiber
Filmmaker Jan Raiber sets out on a quest for his
identity, seeking to connect eventually with his biological
father. Many children living in patchwork
families have to take this step at some point as
long as this connection is missing. However, why is
there no connection, who broke ties and why has
this subject been kept under wraps?
Jan begins to narrow down his search. His siblings,
his parents and his grandparents have to face his
plan and the fact that he records everything on film.
The camera keeps him grounded and encourages
him not to run away from the confrontation again.
Now is the time to talk about it, not later, not some
day. Jan’s brother is shocked to find out that he is
only the half-brother, his grandparents are not sure
whether the real father will like the news and his
mother doesn’t want to be filmed. Jan finds himself
at his procreator’s garden fence and doesn’t have
the heart to go in. Old dreams and buried memories
Then he receives a letter from his mother that is
supposed to shed light upon the past, yet causes
even more confusion. The secret is disclosed and
the film starts all over again. In order to unravel the
past, Jan has to understand the circumstances during
his mother’s youth, the relationship to her parents,
the constant control and influence, the young
couple’s situation in the GDR, the appearance of a
new man – who has become Jan’s social father.
So, what will happen? There hasn’t been a meeting
with the biological father yet. What is to do now?
Who might come to harm? Is it probably better to
leave everything the way it is? Jan has to cut his
way through a swamp of well-meant advices and restraints
in order to get to the bottom of it. His mother
takes responsibility and supports him. For her son
she overcomes her fear and faces the
confrontation with the individuals of a long suppressed
This film is supposed to encourage. It demonstrates
that shedding light upon suppressed secrets instead
of taking the path of least resistance is worth
the effort.
Original titleALLE MEINE VÄTER
DirectorJan Raiber
Festivals: 60th BERLINALE / Panorama Documents

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