In the country of my parents

Documentary | 1981


Germany | 1981

Digital | 16 mm | 88 min

Language · German
Subtitle · English


“Had it not been for Hitler, I would have been born a German-Jewish child, more German than Jewish, in a small village in the South of Germany. But as it happened, I was born in Argentina, my mother tongue is Spanish. I came to Germany 17 years ago.”
It is here, where author and director Jeanine Meerapfel starts searching for her own Jewish identity, being confronted time and time again with Federal Republic reality.
At the same time she is not interested in a journalistic survey, statistics and politics but her own situation in life, full of doubts and fears, including Germany as such and others concerned.
Same as in her first feature-film “Malou”, Jeanine Meerapfel examines – apart from the subjective aspects of the problem – what it means to live as a Jewess in this country, to which a friend, when asked said: “There are far worse things happening today than to be a Jewess in Germany.”
The film doesn’t offer ready-made answers, it rather puts open questions.

Cast & Crew

Script | Director · Jeanine Meerapfel
Cast · Anna Levine | Luc Bondy | Meier Breslav | Eva Ebner | Sarah Haffner | Jakob Lichtmann
Photography · Peter Schäfer
Sound · Hans Schmitz
Editing · Heidi Murero
Music · Jakob Lichtmann
Production · Westdeutscher Rundfunk

Awards | Festivals


Filmdukat of the city of Mannheim · Mannheim | Germany
Special Mention of the Catholic Film Work in Germany · Mannheim | Germany


Documentary Film Festival · Mannheim | Germany
Documentary Film Festival · Florence
Cinéma des femmes · Paris | France
Festival du films du monde · Montreal | Canada
Forum des jungen Films · Berlin | Germany
S. Sebastián Int. Film Festival · San Sebastián | Spain
IFFI · Innsbruck | Austria


Distribution in Germany · Deutsche Kinemathek

Distribution-DVD · (DVD Edition (a selection of Jeanine Meerapfel Films)

Press reviews

“Reason and emotion never diverge in this film, but rather go together as brothers and sisters, always concerned about each other. Thus sentimentality never arises, but a solidarity of minorities becomes comprehensible that is touching and convincing.”

Frankfurter Rundschau, Frankfurt am Main (Hans Stempel, 14.0.81)

“In the country of my parents” tells of the search for the roots of one’s own identity. It has become an exciting film about the Federal Republic of Germany.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich (Arnold Hohmann, 14.12.81)

“…it has become a relentlessly open, uncomfortable film  and precisely for that reason an extremely important film.”

Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Cologne (Ulrich Horn, 12./13.12.81)