The German Film Rating Board *

Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung

A young woman, lost in thought, wandering through a child’s bedroom. A little girl – in perfect innocence at first – playing with her doll. With the entrance of the male character this idyllic picture becomes distorted and turns into a dense net of apprehension and menacing associations. The dramaturgy, montage and music in this film, which tackles the topic of child abuse, interact to create and build up tension and confusion. The film does not resort to a blatant storyline, clichés or an over-simplified denouement, but rather offers many (emotional) starting points for discussions on dealing with experiences of violence through its ambivalences and things left unspoken. An astounding achievement that resonates for a long time!


The German Film Rating Board (FBW) acts on behalf of all German provinces. The ‘highly recommended’ seal of approval is awarded to films that have an extraordinary artistic, documentary and film-historical significance. The short film ‘Puppenspiel’ (‘Baby Doll’) was distinguished with the ‘highly recommended’ seal of approval.

Mag. Tanja Guserl

Psychologist & Judge

In a sensitive and quiet manner, ‘Puppenspiel’ (‘Baby Doll’) tells the story of a young girl, a young woman.

What ‘Puppenspiel’ has succeeded in doing has not often been accomplished, especially in connection with the thematic content at hand: The film is concrete, but not voyeuristic; and while it does evoke feelings of aggression and disgust towards the ‘offender’, the story concentrates entirely on the victim. It takes the viewer to the emotional plane of a traumatised person and doesn’t let go. “Viewers see themselves as the desperate, disbelieving mother, they experience the speechlessness and the pain of a child victim of sexual violence, and can understand how difficult it must be for the partner of a traumatised person to deal with the situation.”

This cleverly orchestrated state of uncertainty and the atmospheric collage formed from two storylines fuel our sense of uneasiness. Is this reality, the past or is it just all in our head?

Canada Filmfestival

(...) our judges felt that your film was among the very best of the several hundreds of films submitted from over 30 countries around the world and deserving of special recognition (...)

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why this film



behind the scenes

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