1956. During a visit to a cinema in West Berlin, East German high school pupils Theo and Kurt see disturbing newsreel footage of the uprising in Budapest. Back in Stalinstadt, one of the GDR’s flagship workers’ settlements, they have the idea of holding a minute’s silence in class for the victims of the Hungarian struggle for freedom. Neither the boys, nor their parents, nor the school’s administration are prepared for the minor and major reactions that their expression of solidarity unleashes. The school principal tries to dismiss the incident as juvenile mischief and deal with it internally, but the pupils find themselves snared in the political machinery of a state determined to make an example of them. Condemning their act as counter-revolutionary, the education minister demands that the pupils name their ringleader. They are faced with a decision that has dramatic consequences for their future.
Director and screenwriter Lars Kraume has cast up-and-coming actors in the leading roles and established actors in supporting roles for his adaptation of Dietrich Garstka’s eponymous book in which Garstka recounts his own personal experiences and those of his 18 classmates. A moving chapter in German post-war history.