Deutsche Welle
German Screenings

Strangers – Young Immigrants in Germany (08 x 30 min.)

For decades, the pundits and the politicians have been debating the question of whether Germany should host migrants or bona fide immigrants. The fact on the ground is that it has long done both. Some 6.75 million foreigners now live in Germany – more than eight percent of its total population.

Immigrants come to Germany for a whole range of reasons. Their professions may be in demand here; they may be in search of freedom and a better future; they may have been forced into exile by an oppressive regime. Or they may simply like Germany.

Strangers follows five young immigrants from widely diverse cultures, nations and social backgrounds as they travel to Germany and attempt to start new lives here. It covers the first year from before their arrival through the trials and tribulations of getting settled in. What each immigrant has in common is their desire to live in Germany permanently and legally. The emphasis is on personal observations and everyday experiences in a new and strange country, cutting back and forth from one character to another and continuing from one part to the next.

The film makers focus on the questions of what ideas, visions and dreams immigrants have of Germany before leaving their countries? What situations and difficulties, what positive and negative surprises do they encounter after their arrival? What obstacles do they have to overcome? How do they find jobs, apartments and new friends? How well do they cope with the authorities – and with everyday life? How do they go about learning the German language? How do they deal with homesickness? And not least: how do they see this strange land, Germany, and its people? What cultural differences and similarities do they see?

01  Dreaming of Germany
02  Hoping, but Homesick
03  Germany for Beginners
04  A Time to Make Friends
05  Keeping One’s Head above Water
06  Bread and Butter
07  To Laugh or Cry
08  Negotiations
English, German, Spanish
08 x 30 min.