CONTERGAN: DIE ELTERN

Deutschland 2003 – Director: Andreas Fischer – Original language: German

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In 1957 Contergan, a sleeping pill and sedative, considered especially safe for pregnant women, was introduced to the German market. The consequences were devastating: around 5000 handicapped children were born in the following years with deformed members and often damaged organs. About half the children did not survive. Soon suspicion arose, that the deformation of the children was connected to the use of Contergan. In 1961 under massive pressure from the public and the media, the medication was finally taken off the market.

Vividly, the mothers and fathers, who were affected by Contergan tell their stories of the periods of pregnancy and the moments after the birth of their children. They describe, what life with a handicapped child was like in the sixties, how neighbours and people on the streets would react. They recall the difficult moment, when they had to tell their children that a sleeping pill had caused their handicap. They talk about living with the guilt, their feelings for their children. And they express their wishes for their children.

Writer: Andreas Fischer. Camera: Roland Breitschuh, Ralph Kaechle, Dieter Stürmer. Sound: Thomas Bianga, Til Butenschön. Editing: Martina Pille, Fabienne Westhoff. Music: Chara Kyriasoglou. Production: Moraki-Film GmbH. Producer: n/a. Length: 100 min. International Sales: s.o. Distribution: s.o.

International Program (2002-2009) 2003
GASTEIG So 4.5. 17.00