The Crocodiles (Vorstadtkrokodile)

Director(s): Christian Ditter
Country: Germany
Language: German w/ English subtitles
Live Action | 2009 | 92 min
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Recommended for ages 13+ (Parental Guidance: Strong language; scene of domestic abuse)

In a contemporary small town around a closed-down factory, bored ‘tween friends, some from broken homes, are looking for creative ways to spend their time. They build forts, issue dares and tease one another. The Crocodiles is the name of this gang of 11-year-olds and a newcomer (who uses a wheelchair) wants in.

Part Hardy Boys, part “Stand By Me,” part “The Outsiders,” this fast-paced film combines classic elements with a larger message of breaking down stereotypes. Please be warned that the dialogue is stronger than an American audience may be used to. There is a domestic abuse scene. Slurs and stereotypes are expressed. However, this difficult dialogue is not used for shock value. It is part of the larger and more important narrative of kids learning how hurtful their exclusionary actions and hateful words can be, then making amends.

Buster International Children’s Film Awards (Denmark), Best Film; Cinekid 2009, Audience Award and MovieSquad Junior Award; German Film Awards 2010, Film Award in Gold, Outstanding Children/Youth Film; Munich Film Festival 2009, White Elephant award