top of page

D | 2022 | ZDF | Docs 2x28 Min. &  Doc-Series 3x 28 Min

Status Finished & broadcastet

Language German

Filmmaker Susanne Bohlmann & Christopher Hawkins

Editor Susanne Bohlmann


Living in community is a long-cherished dream for many. Eating, living and working together - sustainably, self-sufficiently and creatively - that's how it should be one day. But the community is still in the process of being established and is looking for its way into a shared vision.

The children are out of the house. What now? Sabine (50) and Simon Stier (52) wanted to try something new. It was supposed to be a community. Three years ago, the architect and the educator set out and founded a cooperative together with others. This enabled them to buy the moated castle in the small village of Disternich, along with 10 hectares of land. They have been working on the site ever since. Simon has set up his office in the outbuilding, while Sabine has opened her own daycare center. This is used by the castle and village children. Meanwhile, 16 adults and seven children live at Disternich Castle, with plenty of wild and domestic animals.

David (40) and Clara (28) were the first cooperative members three years ago. Since then, they have lived in the community together with their children Caspar (5) and Olivia (2). The cellist and the pianist met and fell in love at the music academy. They see the castle as a meeting place for art, culture and sustainability.

Who can live here?
A total of 25 adults could live on the property. But they have to be found first. In order to be accepted into the community and the cooperative, the applicants have to survive a year on probation after an intensive period of getting to know each other. After that, the members of the cooperative - the core group - decide on their acceptance. Two-thirds must be actively in favor. If there is only one veto, the person cannot move in.

Life on trial
This trial year is now over for Dawid (29) and Eva (29). Eva studied educational science, currently works in a kindergarten and at the same time is training to be a dance therapist. Her partner Dawid has spent the last few years working as a seminar leader for personal development and communication. The couple moved in together with Eva's daughter Nuria (4). The upcoming decision about whether to join the community is tugging at their nerves. Eva desperately wants to stay in the castle, but she knows that things are bad for her partner Dawid. He has many conflicts and arguments in the group, which puts the relationship to the test.

Betti (54) is the new girl. She is allowed to start her probationary year at Disternich Castle. Finally, the former pub owner has made her jump into a new life. The single woman no longer wants to live alone and is looking forward to the many children in the community. Betti's son Max took his own life ten years ago - a trauma she still hasn't gotten over.

Visionary microcosm
There is always something going on at the castle: energetic action days, emotional rounds full of conflict, or a cultural festival with music and dance. The film accompanies the community over six months, documents the ups and downs, portrays the residents and gives an intimate insight into a visionary microcosm of society.

It goes on? "The Burg-WG"
Life in the Burg Disternich living community goes on. For the 16 adults and the seven children, a new year has begun. The founders of the community Sabine and Simon look positively into the future. Dawid did not make it through the trial year and moved out. His girlfriend Eva stayed. The relationship with Dawid has developed cracks. In addition, Eva has taken a new job as a dance therapist and hardly has any time left for the community. This tugs at her nerves. Clara is preparing for her third child. She wants to give birth in a home birth at the castle, as she did before. For this to happen, there must be no complications. Clara's partner David wants to help with the home birth - will he dare? Betti had only moved in in November with her dogs Roma and Romina. But they have difficulties fitting into the already existing dog pack. Betti is faced with a decision. Also, the birthday of her late son Max is coming up - The community has thought of something special for the 54 year old. Then spring moves in at Disternich Castle and Eva calls an emotional meeting. She has to share herself with the community. A few days after the expected date of birth, Clara goes into labor in the middle of the night.


bottom of page