This fast-paced hybrid documentary takes us on a trip through the strange unknown world of the ‘Rollbrettfahrer’ as skateboarders were known in the GDR, a country where besides those loyal to the regime, there was also an avowed political resistance. Apart from this, there was also a movement of young rebels whose only raison d’être was the illusion of staying young, immortal and non-committal. In This Ain’t California three kids discover their love of skateboarding on the cracked asphalt of the GDR — a madcap, even unacceptable sport. This punk fairytale created by a bunch of kids who luckily possessed sufficiently manic levels of energy to record their lives on Super-8mm film, shows us life in the GDR life as it has never been seen before. The film follows its three main protagonists from their childhood in the seventies, through their turbulent teens in the eighties right up to that autumn of 1989 when they were twenty and suddenly, everything they had known up to that point was about to change forever.
Languages: German and English
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Running Time: 90 minutes
Director: Marten Persiel
Cast: David Nathan, Anneke Schwabe
Archival Footage: Bill Clinton, Zaneta Fuchsová, Kai Hillebrand, Erich Honecker, Helmut Kohl, Gerhard Schröder
Bio and/or Filmography
Clip from the track “Frozen Star Fade” composed by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.
Original screen designs and text edits completed by graphic designer, Lisa3679, and gamer NathanWubs.
borders don't anything to you as a child well you care about this your parents then they told me I would be an athlete because I was good at sports there was no question that you go and you do it you know on top they sell it as an honor you'll be a socialist spot ero I was ten and then you hear things from the West where the kids play the whole time toys colorful pens and all that then you realize what a border actually is that's when you know you're grown up it doesn't have to be this way at all America I had no idea what America was like that was so far away California was like like the other side of the Moon for me I knew I would never go there my whole life the uncle of my neighbors he smuggled aboard with the checkpoint a real skateboard from America of course we tried to copy it we had a little fight because my friend panic he wanted to give it some heavy metal nose and and as wheels we had to use the plastic rollerskates but didn't work but didn't matter we loved them it's fun it's about fun it's not about competition there were many people in the East that didn't understand that you know we were sick of marching in training and all this we were excited so the Dutch democratically we were like aliens we weren't political we were speakers when I remember the 80s I don't think of the GDR I think of my friends now they tried to take skateboarding away from us but what do you think happens when you tell kids not to do something you