MARINA shortfilm

Marina leaves her own family behind in Romania to earn money abroad - to look after elderly people in German households.

The film tells the story of 40-year-old Marina, played by the German-speaking Romanian actress Gina Călinoiu, who works in Germany once again as a nurse in a German private household, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The man she has been caring for over the last few months died last night, now she is sitting on the sofa in the living room waiting for the arrival of the relatives to hand over the keys. Sitting there, she talks in a monologue about her work, motivation and personal experiences. The apartment of the deceased, as a hermetic scene of everyday life and work, is not left during the entire film. The film deals with the topic in a monoperspektive, solely from the perspective of the nurse, forcing the viewer to confront his or her own position as a potential employer or carer.

The photos that were taken during the shooting are by Lea Dietrich. We were able to shoot in a fully furnished detached house on the outskirts of Göttingen for a period of two weeks.



At the 61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film MARINA wins the GOLDEN Pigeon for Best German Short Documentary Film and the HEALTHY WORKPLACES FILM AWARD of the EU.

Jury statement:
I like to be with people, right to the end," she says. Marina's open face reflects what she experiences in her exhausting everyday life as a nurse. The affection of those she prepares meals for, makes the beds for, she washes, dresses, cleans and goes shopping for. The arrogance of those who don't look after their parents themselves and think that their low wages will buy the whole person who does most of the work they would never do in 24-hour care - especially not for this money. Marina renounces her own life with her daughter, a home that she only sees every four weeks, a job that would correspond to her higher education. Julia Roesler builds around the stories of this one and in it mirrored many Marinas by the precise reflection of all the hardships that arise from the modern slave trade with the care workers from the East, a film full of precisely set words and images that gently introduce us to what is part of our world - and much too little attention is paid to it.


MARINA is awarded at the Wendlandshorts Filmfestival and wins the "Golden Folding Rule for the best individual artistic achievement".

Jury statement:
The documentary film opens up a view of large contexts, but also new stylistic paths. In this respect, our award for a special individual achievement goes to the courage of two authors to cross boundaries: between theatre and film, documentary and fiction, protagonists on the one hand and a whole choir of voices on the other. With "Marina", Julia Roesler and Silke Merzhäuser have shown how radical reduction can bring the whole world into the cinema. "Marina" speaks of so much: life and death, joy and disgust, exploitation and humanity. The arc from banal bodily excretions to globalization as a system is breathtaking, the journey is as emotional as it is political, and it owes its existence precisely to this hybrid that we hereby distinguish. We wish the authors the courage to continue along this path.



Cast Gina Calinoiu, Gerd Peiser, Lara Guzman Zevallos

Director Julia Roesler

Skript Silke Merzhäuser/ Julia Roesler

Music Insa Rudolph

Camera/ Editor  Isabel Robson

Design Lea Dietrich

Sounddesign Ansgar Frerich

Colour Grading Basis Berlin

Mastering Sönke Westphal

Dramaturg  Silke Merzhäuser

Production werkgruppe2


Fotos: Lea Dietrich


funded by:

28 min.; october 2018
in English/German
with german/ English Subtiles 


Dok Leipzig. International Leipzig Festival for documentary and animated film, National Competition, October 2018, World Premiere

Filmfest Dresden. International Shortfilm Festival, Special Programme: Expanded. Hybride Transzendendes, April 2019

Busan Internationales Short Film Festival, International Competition, April 2019, International Premiere

VI. Festival de Finos Filmes, São Paulo, May 2019

Wendland Shorts, Juni 2019

Seoul International Film Festival, International Competition, Sept. 2019

Best of International Shorts Films Festival, La Ciotat, Okt 2019

Unabhängiges Filmfest Osnabrück, Programm Focus on Europe, Okt 2019

Braunschweig International Film Festival, Programm Mittellange Filme, Nov 2019

Vilnius International Short Film Festival, International Competition, Jan 2020

Festival International Signos da Noite, Lissabon, International Competition, Jan 2020

International Shortfilmfestival Look&Roll, Basel, Competition, Sept. 2020



Golden Dove, DOK Leipzig, 2018

Healthy Workplaces Film Award für den besten Dokumentarfilm zum Thema Arbeit, EU-OSHA, DOK Leipzig, 2018

Golden Yardstick for best individual artistic performance, Wendland Shorts 2019