Taken for a Ride


GDR, 1983, 103 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Music (Performance)
Production Company


Two homeless boys, Mick and Sauly, live in a fictional big city that looks much like New York. They want to fulfill their dream of escaping to the ocean. Through their travels, they visit strange places, where they encounter fantastical situations and dubious characters, including: a villain who allegedly stole and sold Sauly’s guardian angel, and a white racist farmer who hates anyone who is different and distrusts people who move around the world. Taken for a Ride is a road movie filmed in the USA, Cuba and Bulgaria that critiques social discrimination, injustice and the abjection of poor people. By the director of Jacob the Liar and Trace of Stones.


The film is also available for a Digital Site License for educational partners. Please find more information here.


2023/24 Touring retrospective The Other America, USA, Germany
2023 Retrospective Hidden Figures: Blackness and Black Experiences in East Germany, Amherst, USA

Press comments

“With Ulrich Plenzdorf as screenwriter and music by the soul music duo Angelika Weiz and Günther Fischer, Taken for a Ride was also an expression of an attitude to life divided between resignation and new beginnings. As if two hearts were beating in this film: a final rebellion against an already victorious enemy, but also the longing for a future in which one has to do less.”   —Tobias Hering, The Other America, Zeughauskino Berlin, 2024


“A parable about the search for meaning set in a fictional country. [The film] impresses due to the good performances of the two young lay actors.”   —filmportal.de


“My hope that the film would be accepted by a young audience was only partially fulfilled. The film polarized and divided the audience. Some did not want to follow the film with its poetic metaphors and rejected this form of exaggeration. The other part liked the metaphors and the poetic substance of the film. I suspect there were other, unspoken questions behind this aesthetic dispute. For example, the question of my legitimacy to make a film that was set in a country that was inaccessible to most of the viewers.”   —Frank Beyer, Wenn der Wind sich dreht



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