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Child's Play (1992)

Kinderspiele (original title)
Germany in the early sixties, somewhere in a poor suburb. The ten-year-old boy, Micha, is brutally beaten by his father for minor misdemeanors. He receives little support from other members... See full summary »


Wolfgang Becker
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Jonas Kipp Jonas Kipp ... Micha
Angelika Bartsch Angelika Bartsch ... Mother
Burghart Klaußner ... Father
Matthias Friedrich Matthias Friedrich ... Peter / Micha's brother
Oliver Bröcker Oliver Bröcker ... Kalli / Micha's friend
Irina Lackmann Irina Lackmann ... Rita
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Detlev Buck
Nadine Grenz Nadine Grenz
Brigitte Janner Brigitte Janner
Rüdiger Joswig Rüdiger Joswig
Johanna Karl-Lory Johanna Karl-Lory
Evelyn Meyka
Bert Pesalla Bert Pesalla
Ernst-Georg Schwill Ernst-Georg Schwill
Michele Sterr Michele Sterr
Learn more

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Germany in the early sixties, somewhere in a poor suburb. The ten-year-old boy, Micha, is brutally beaten by his father for minor misdemeanors. He receives little support from other members of his family and so decides to wage a personal war against all of them. He joins other bullies at school to terrorize people for amusement, including his own little brother, Peter because his mother preferred him. He sets off with his inventive friend Kalli. When the mother finally leaves the father, the plot is heading for the catastrophe.

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Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

User Reviews

Children's games are no child's play
1 October 1999 | by ChWasserSee all my reviews

This film tells the sad story of a childhood somewhere in Germany in the early 60s. When Micha's mother leaves his irascible father, he tries to prevent their divorce by any means he can think of, but his attempts to hold the family together lead to a catastrophe. The film shows in a brilliant way how pressure and violence is passed along to an inferior person: Micha's father beats his son because he's frustrated about the poverty they have to live in and Micha vents *his* aggressions by teasing his little brother or the senile grandma of his best friend Olli.

What I really like about the film (besides being moved to tears) is the realism and attention to detail in everything from dialogue to set-design. It's all dead-on. Even today children in Germany still tell the obscene "poems" which Micha learns from Olli ("Rot ist die Liebe, schwarz ist das Loch ..."). Another example: When they refurnish the room of Micha's granny copies of the "Völkischer Beobachter" (an infamous Nazi-newspaper) appear below the wallpaper, indicating that the Third Reich wasn't that long ago. Or: When Micha is told to bring some plums to relatives you can see that they have more exotic (and expensive) fruits in a bowl on the table, indicating the difference in the social position in a very subtle way. The script is full of these exact observations, so that you'll discover something new even the third or fourth time you see this little gem.

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Release Date:

2 September 1993 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Child's Play See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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