Comrade - Where are you today?


In 1988 - just after her high school graduation - 20-year-old Kirsi Marie Liimatainen leaves the political squatting movement of her hometown Tampere in Finland and heads for the GDR.

She and her fellow students were invited to East Berlin to study Marxist-Leninist theory for one year at the International Youth Academy Wilhelm Pieck. The students come from all corners of the world, from a total of 80 countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain. They are functionaries, freedom fighters and left activists - operating legally or illegally in the underground of their home countries. It is a wide spectrum, but one thing unites them all: The hope for a better world and the willingness to fight for it.

The international solidarity at the academy is convincing, but the real socialism in the GDR is an experience for Kirsi, which is marked by contradictions - the gap between theory and reality is obvious.

In the summer of 1989 the course ends and the students spread out over the entire world. A few months later the Berlin Wall falls...

24 years later, Kirsi Marie Liimatainen, now a director, sets out on a cinematic journey to Nicaragua, South Africa, Chile, Bolivia, Lebanon, Germany and Finland to meet up once more with her former fellow students.

The dream of the liberation of the oppressed united the students of the Youth Academy. What did this dream mean to them and what has remained of it? Do they still fight for “the little man” or have they become convinced sympathizers of major global companies and neoliberalism?

The journey brings us to the countries where the socialism of 21st century celebrates its‘ victory, indigenous people fight for their rights, and where the privatization in the social sector increases and where former freedom fighters live in shacks or the books of Marx and Lenin are replaced with religious texts.

The documentary tells a story about the past, when dreams of a better world still seemed possible, about the present, where political visions look like having come to an end and about a future that´s uncertain to all of us.

Am 18.8. 2016 August - deutschlandweiter Kinostart!
Premiere am 11.8. 2016 im Kino BABYLON in Berlin.

More Info:

Kirsi Marie Liimatainen

Ilanga GbR: Liimatainen

Co-producer Finland
Making Movies: Kaarle Aho

Developed with the support of:
Filmbüro Mecklenburg-Vorpommern    BKM Kulturelle Filmförderung des Bndes    YLE    BKM Kulturelle Filmförderung des Bndes    Deutscher Filmförderfond    Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

Ilanga Films · Kirsi Marie Liimatainen · Elisabeth-Christinen-Str. 6 · 13156 Berlin · Germany