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Bürgschaft für ein Jahr (On Probation)

1981, color, 93 min. Feature
Dir.: Hermann Zschoche
Script: Gabriele Kotte (based on the novel of the same name by Tine Schulze)
Camera: Günter Jaeuthe
Music: Günther Fischer
Cast: Katrin Saß, Monika Lennartz, Jaecki Schwarz, Jan Spitzer, Christian Steyer, Heide Kipp, et al.
35mm, English subtitles - renting information


Nina Kern is a divorced woman in her late twenties who will soon be fully deprived of her custody rights for her three children, who already reside in a home for the displaced, due to many years of willful neglect. Although she has broken her promise to change her moral conduct many times, she is given one last chance on probation. A civil engineer and a teacher assume responsibility over her bond, trying to help Nina, or at least her 5 year-old daughter Mireille, to be released from the home. Nina makes a diligent effort to hold down her job as part of a subway cleaning crew and be a good mother to her daughter. She experiences some successes, but also some setbacks. Though in the end her probation is eventually dropped, she believes that she is not mature enough to bear the full burden of raising all of her kids. With a heavy heart, she resigns her custody rights for her daughter Jacqueline, with whom she has not come to terms.

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