German OV, English subtitles, Germany, 7min

“If I wasn’t born” takes a deep look into the film makers’ photographic album. It’s a journey through personal years during the last years of the GDR and Fall of the Wall. The film asks about life’s possibilities and those of a young mother without a son.


wirtten, directed and animated by HENDRIK SCHÄFER Producer CHARLIE BREITKREUZ, HENDRIK SCHÄFER Music BEN

© Filmakademie Baden-Würrtemberg



  • Intl. Wettbewerb Hot Docs 2013
  • Gewinner Experimentalfilm Open Eyes 2012
  • Intl. Programm Dok Leipzig 2012
  • Kurzfilmwettbewerb Biberacher Filmfestspiele 2012
  • Intl. Wettbewerb Kurzdokumentarfilme FEST 12 Espinho, Portugal

“Evidently this can only be a rhetorical question: What if? Doesn’t every child ask this question at some point? An intricate scenario is set in motion. A photo album is leafed through which reveals a childhood that began at the Berlin Lichtenberg Hospital in 1981. Its hero, director Hendrik Schäfer, raises the question of the random generator that created him (is this tantamount to the question of God?) and the influences that made him who he is (a proponent of the theory of existentialism?). He recaps stations of his GDR socialisation between kitchen table, Young Pioneer afternoons and vacations on the Baltic Sea through to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Would the course of history have been different? No, he was still a child, an onlooker of great historic movements, but also a part of a century in which great politicians were airbrushed out of photos as if they had never existed. Hendrik Schäfer and his buoyant mother will remain.”DOKLEIPZIG 2012