Sweep It Up


Germany, 1990, 29 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles
Music (Score)
Production Company


The city of Leipzig made headlines with its peaceful Monday Demonstrations before the collapse of the Berlin Wall in fall 1989. The uproar at that time was replaced by the hectic electoral campaign in spring 1990. Nightly conversations with three street sweepers, Gabi, Henry and Stefan, whose life took place between children’s homes and prison, are dominated by hopelessness and broken self-confidence, but one can also feel a keen sense for the changes in the social and political climates in East Germany.


Part 1 of the long observation project known as the Sweep It Up trilogy.



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


2023 Retrospective Dokumentarische Positionen: Gerd Kroske, Berlin, Germany
2022 Braunschweig International Film Festival, Germany
2019 DocLisboa, Portugal
2004 Retrospective Deutschland, Revisited: II: Dokumentarfilme und andere Experimente, Hamburg, Germany
1991 German Competition, Oberhausen International Film Festival, Germany

Special Prize of the Mayor of the City of Leipzig, DOK Leipzig, Germany

Press comments

"The Sweep It Up trilogy is free of any larmoyance despite its incredibly touching insights into other people's disappointments and living rooms. It shows how small and gray unemployment can make people. But it also shows the efforts, dignity and self-criticism with which Kroske's protagonists fight against the threat of neglect and isolation."   —Birgit Glombitza, Deutschland, Revisited II: Dokumentarfilme und andere Experimente



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