“Short-term Sister” is a very personal project. The film takes an intimate look into my life and tells the story of my missing sister. Our paths were separated 17 years ago; I have not seen her since. Vanessa became a taboo. My family’s silence lay like a cloak over my memories, which gradually faded – until last year. An acquaintance managed to track down his old kindergarten friend and to meet him again. His story was like a trigger for my memories: Suddenly all the experiences I had had with Vanessa came back to me and I understood what I had been missing all these years: my sister.
Then, as a young adult, the desire grew in me to finally know the truth about Vanessa’s disappearance and to see her again – after more than 17 years. I knew that it would be difficult to get my family to talk. A joint debate seemed unrealistic – the fronts were too deadlocked. That is why the camera became the key to releasing some of this pressure within my family. Instead of talking to each other directly, my relatives talk to each other through the camera. Finally, the silence had been broken.
The story leaves no details out: it is about childhood, sibling love and attachment, guilt and trauma, reproach and hate. Topics that occur in every family in different ways. With this film, I would like to encourage a discussion – about youth welfare offices, the concept of a foster child, but also about family cohesion and parenting. I want to encourage people to face their past and to look their own problems in the face. That is exactly what I did in making this film. The process can hurt. It certainly did with my family, with Vanessa and I – but in the end, it’s worth it when, after years of repressed pain, there is finally clarity.
3x 25-minute miniseries / 73-minute feature film / shorter TV versions
Director & Author
DRIVE beta in co-production with NDR, supported by Saarland Medien
finished, in worldwide sale
nomination "Axel-Springer-Preis for young journalism" 2022, winner "Postgraduate Best Editing" & "Best Writing" at the RTS Student Television Awards 2021