When Susanne crashes through the emergency room doors, heavily pregnant, she is completely unprepared and panics. In a fit of hysteria – labor is just beginning – she gets a revelation: she needn’t worry, because the child is preordained. 12 years later, Susanne is looking forward to a fresh start. After a long period of abstinence, she has renewed hope for a working relationship. But her son, whom she has considered a genius since the revelation, writes unreadable essays and his teacher wants to transfer him to a special school. Susanne and Jonathan are cramming for their lives.

This film is a collaboration between director Johan Carlsen and Cornelia and Christopher Kwanka, a single mother and her son living in Berlin-Lichtenberg. Conny and Christopher depict scenes from Johan’s childhood, as well as from their own experiences. They play Jonathan and Susanne, a mother and son who fight a battle for recognition and balance.


Cast: Christopher Kwanka, Conny Kwanka, Sam Louwyck

Screenplay: Johan Carlsen
Director: Johan Carlsen
Camera: Armin Dierolf
Editing: Johan Carlsen
Production design: Stefan Oppenländer
Costume: Lea Walloschke
Make-up: Christina Wagner, Milena Pfleiderer, Katja Schulze
Sound: Martin Hertel, Juri von Krause
Production Management: Nicolai Zeitler
Production management: Birgit Weingärtner
Executive producer: Till Rothmund
Co-producer: Christian Schulzki (ariane-film gmbh), German Film and Television Academy Berlin, Makrorama
Producer: Martin Lehwald
Commissioning Editor: ZDF – Das kleine Fernsehspiel, Frank Seyberth
Station: ZDF
Funded by: Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmförderungsanstalt
Production year: 2011

  • 45th Hof Film Days
  • IBAFF Int. Film Festival
Scene from Headlock
Scene from Headlock
Scene from Headlock
Scene from Headlock
Scene from Headlock
Scene from Headlock