SynopsisMax „Adlersson“ Herzberg, 20 years old, reviews all sorts of things, talks about himself, bawls in town, cracks borderline jokes and crosses every boundary he sees – Max is a YouTube creator and makes a decent living off of it. Most of Max’s friends have their own channels. They are dubious role models, but without a doubt celebrities of their generation. LORD OF THE TOYS portrays him and his gang during one summer and studies the milieu, in which their life style is thriving: the West in general and East Germany in particular.
Jury Statement DOK Leipzig, Golden Dove German Competition:
The prize for the best German documentary film is awarded to Lord of the Toys by director Pablo Ben Yakov and cameraman André Krummel, because it is smart, differentiating, extremely courageous and full of a painful political topicality. And it satisfies the requirement a good documentary film must have: It helps people getting to understand what’s going on elsewhere. The film shows the everyday life of a group of Dresden-based youtubers, boys, a few girls, no adults for miles around, who are straddling close to right-wing positions out of boredom and forlornness; and, in doing so, have several hundred thousand followers in the social media. They are seeking to create a world, in which they obtain reputation, although it will prevent the fulfillment of their needs at the same time. Trust and closeness. The filmmakers have taken to crossing a border; they get involved in a completely different milieu, with a different generation and accept another political stance, so as to seriously get to the bottom of things of what you read in the dailies is a danger for our democracy. They go down as deeply as possible, right down to the deepest depths. They try not to evaluate matters with biased, preconceived schemata. Nor do they anywhere lose their own stance and critical distance. They want to understand something, namely the dynamics which makes whole groups of young people slide into radicalism. The film is excellent without falling into routine or being too serene. It is an affectionate film, far beyond any empty phrases. And besides, it is deeply impressive – under both aesthetic and dramaturgical aspects. Given its format, the film makes an unprecedented contribution to understand what’s just going on in our world. Sometimes you hear remarks about films that they hurt – this one really hurts, partly physically. But for a good reason.