Family Business

Family Business

Deutschland 2014/2015, Dokumentarfilm


An observational film, "Family Business" is the story of two families brought together by two important aspects of contemporary familial care: time and money.

Jowita and her husband Andrzej live in Lublin/Poland. Like many, they took advantage of the good times and started building a house without a loan. Then things turned bad, Andrzej lost his job. Four years later, their 13-year-old daughter Oliwia's room is still just an empty shell. Needing money, they all decide the mother should now work in Germany.

At the same time in Bochum/Germany, another family faces a momentous decision: only after their father's death do Birgit and Ulrike realize just how much help their mother Anne, now 88, needs in everyday life. They spend four long months taking turns, patiently getting her through the day. Finally, they can't go on. They move the furniture out of the dining room into the lounge, to make room for Jowita.

The film accompanies both families from the moment they decide to merge lives. Both experience for the first time what it means to open one's own family to strangers, to leave previous roles and surrender responsibility.

Who does what out of love and where does the work begin? Where are one's own borders, where those of the unknown others? Where do the sparks fly or the paint rub off on one another? Whilst Jowita knows better how to estimate Anne's dementia-related unease than her own daughters, she, Jowita, is suddenly surprised by her own daughter Oliwia's first love. The situation forces everyone to re-plot their course when it comes to being there for one another.

Now surrounded by so many people all concerned about her, and having lived with Jowita for two months, Anne sits back, wrapped toasty warm from head to toe in her wool blanket, and summarizes her situation as she sees it: "I've no idea what she's doing here. I, in her place, would never move in with any old Polish family."

Source: German Films Service & Marketing GmbH


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All Credits

Director:Christiane Büchner
Screenplay:Christiane Büchner (Konzept)
Translation:Alex Ross
Script editor:Herbert Schwarze
Director of photography:Justyna Feicht, Thomas Plenert
Assistant camera:Julian Kazmierczak
Colour grading:Felix Hüsken
Titles / Opticals:Arne Thaysen
Animation:Christiane Büchner
Editing:Henk Drees, Stefan Oliveira-Pita
Assistant editor:Mirek Balonis, Jonas Thoma, Christopher Tworuschka, Jakob Jendryka
Sound design:Claas Berger
Sound:Claas Berger, Kamil Radziszewski, Kasia Szczerba, Ronny Müller (zusätzlicher Ton), Michał Robaczewski (zusätzlicher Ton), Siddho Varza (zusätzlicher Ton)
Audio mixing:Sound Vision (Köln), Tilo Busch
Music:Florian Bramböck, Ben Lauber
Production company:Büchner Filmproduktion GbR (Hamburg), Bückner & Heller Film (München)
in co-production with:LAVAFILM GmbH (Berlin), Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) (Leipzig)
in association with:Arte Deutschland TV GmbH (Baden-Baden)
completed by:Farbkult (Köln)
Producer:Ewa Borowski, Tobias Büchner
Producer (TV):Beate Schönfeldt (MDR)
Line producer:Mariusz Włodarski, Agnieszka Wasiak
Unit production manager:Evelyn Wenzel (MDR)
Post-production:Erhard Giesen
Shoot:15.06.2012-15.05.2013: Deutschland, Polen
Original distributor:Real Fiction Filmverleih (Köln)
Funding:Beauftragte/r der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien -Filmförderung- (Berlin), Deutscher Filmförderfonds (DFFF) (Berlin), Media Programm der EU (Brüssel), Film- und Medien Stiftung NRW (Düsseldorf)
Length:89 min
Picture/Sound:Farbe, Dolby
Screening:Uraufführung (DE): 08.05.2015, München, DOK Fest;
Kinostart (DE): 28.01.2016


Originaltitel (DE) Family Business



Length:89 min
Picture/Sound:Farbe, Dolby
Screening:Uraufführung (DE): 08.05.2015, München, DOK Fest;
Kinostart (DE): 28.01.2016


Film Festival Cologne 2016
Filmpreis NRW, Bester Dokumentarfilm
FBW 2015
Prädikat: besonders wertvoll