The ZDF three-part series “Yesterday we were still children” not only lured millions of people in front of the television, but also captivated them with its sophisticated storytelling. Screenwriter Natalie Scharf knows from early experience what she is writing about. The three-part series is still available in the ZDF media library.
Wow what a movie! What a quote! Last week, 5.30 million viewers tuned in to the prelude to the ZDF three-part series “Yesterday we were still children” (director: Nina Wolfrum). The market share of the total audience was 19.7 percent.
And episode 2 again scooped the day’s victory from the overall audience. 4.8 million tuned in on Tuesday night last week. A market share of 18 percent. The third and final episode on Wednesday finally cleared up the drama surrounding the Munich family – with an ending that very few would have expected (we are not revealing it here out of consideration for all those who have not yet seen the captivating three-part series ).
If you missed the three episodes, you can look them up in the ZDF media library at any time. The fee payer has the choice between a three-part TV series or a seven-part series. The prelude was so captivating from minute 1 that it was almost impossible to zaps away.
Everything starts out so hopeful, so happy. The Munich suburb model Klettmann family – villa, chic cars, three well-behaved children – celebrates the 44th birthday of Anna (Maria Simon, “Polizeiruf 110”). But then the unbelievable happens: Father Peter (Torben Liebrecht) kills his wife out of the blue. Motive: unclear.
The eldest daughter Vivi (strong: Youtube star Julia Beautx) first takes care of her two younger siblings and later fights for custody. At the same time, police officer Tim (Julius Nitschkoff) makes contact with the 18-year-old. He was the first on the scene. Anna died in his arms.
Vivi trusts him more and more and eventually even moves in with him. She doesn’t notice that he’s playing a double game. In addition to the events of the present, the school days shared by Peter and Anna are told in flashbacks, which is characterized by dark secrets and Peter’s tyrannical father (Ulrich Tukur).
The three-part series shows in an oppressive way what happens when a person loses control of their psyche. The script was written by Natalie Scharf (“Spring”), who also acts as a producer and is well versed in psychological issues and loss of control.
“As a child, it was uncomfortable and embarrassing for me to tell you that I lived on the premises of a ‘mental hospital’ – as it used to be called,” reports Scharf. Her father was a psychiatrist and neurologist. “He had been given official housing for his family and himself, so cases were always discussed over dinner.”
Scharf continues: “When I was in elementary school, I once asked him how it could happen that voices could be heard. The answer I got was that you just wake up like this in the morning. Not particularly empathetic of him, because I remember very well that after this statement I decided never to sleep again – with the result that three days later I nodded off completely exhausted on my school desk in the classroom and my mother was ordered to school .”
Scharf was fascinated by the idea of focusing on the trauma and trigger of their childhood for both the protagonists and the supporting characters. “I knew that at some point I wanted to write a series where viewers got to know the characters better than they got to know themselves.”
The series took her six years to complete. “Usually the plot drives the story forward, so with ‘Yesterday we were still children’ I wanted to tell the story from the characters,” says Scharf. “Since we experience all the protagonists as children or adolescents in retrospect, we later understand their actions better.” .” Little by little, more and more truths are coming to light.
Ulrich Tukur, who plays the murderer’s father, summarizes his role as follows: “Hans Klettmann never got over the harshness and lovelessness of his father and the weakness of his mother,” says Tukur. “Hurt, he withdraws and directs his anger, which is actually aimed at himself, and his inability to obtain the love of his father, outwardly. He punishes his son Peter for everything his father kept from him. And so, too, Peter becomes a deeply insecure youth who cannot cope with the confusion of his soul.”
Hans plays a devastating role within the family, that of the authoritarian head of the family who shows no weakness and seems to have everything under control. “With his harshness and lack of love, he not only plunges himself into misfortune, but also his wife, children and grandchildren.” According to Tukur, the film is a lesson in speechlessness and the inability to overcome it.
It is also interesting how shooting star Julia Beautx reflects on her role as Vivi: “I was able to orientate myself well towards my own family for the role because I myself grew up in a very loving and sheltered manner. I can empathize with the hole you fall into, how betrayed and abandoned you feel by your father, who yesterday you thought was the best dad in the world.”
It was important for her to show Vivi’s struggle “not really being allowed to mourn, coupled with the strength that she literally has to scrape off the ground so that she can somehow save her life and especially that of her little siblings.” In real life Julia Beautx is a social media giant. The 23-year-old has 2.41 subscribers on YouTube, 3.8 million on Tiktok and 3.4 million on Instagram.
Tip: ZDF drama – “Yesterday we were still children”: Here you can see all the episodes for free