By Thomas HEISE


Documentary - Completed 2014

A quiet observation of the everyday life of the residents of the „Comunidad San Fernando“, a prison in Mexico City.

& Awards

Visions du Réel Nyon 2014
Edinburgh IFF 2014
Lussas IDF 2014
DMZ Docs 2014
DocBsAs Buenos Aires 2014
Viennale 2014
DOK Leipzig 2014
DEFA Sponsoring Prize for an outstanding German documentary film
Duisburger Filmwoche 2014
    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 82 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Thomas HEISE
    • Writer(s)
    • Thomas HEISE
    • Producer(s)
    • Thomas HEISE
    • Synopsis
    • The beginning shows a dusty landscape somewhere on the outskirts of the city accompanied by a poem from 1921, written by Bertolt Brecht and spoken by a young woman. It is about the disappearance of a man, how waiting for him fades and eventually the memory there of.
      STAEDTEBEWOHNER tells the story of everyday life in the „Comunidad San Fernando“, a prison in Mexico City. About 200 prisoners are currently living here, offenders who were sentenced as juveniles for a maximum of 5 years to San Fernando in order to leave it as men not older than in the age of 23. In quiet observations the film portrays the life of the residents of San Fernando.
      It is December. We get to know 3 of those 200 better. There are Samuel and Ever, still children when they were judged guilty of murder. „It's complicated but I didn't do it" says Samuel. "Now I'm in here." "I shot him in the head", Ever says, and what does his glance say when adding „I was 14“. And there is Irving, who was a robber and fears the outside, his liberty, when spring will come. On the afternoon of Christmas Eve his father explains him where to aim accurately in order to best shoot someone dead. People act just as they are pleased to do. Encountering someone around here is a constant and edgy changing between closeness and distance. As is the city where the prison is at.
      Who is talking of stones?
    • Partners & financing
    • in cooperation with Film and Television University "Konrad Wolf" (HFF) Potsdam, with the support of Goethe Institute Mexico