Switzerland, 98 min
In the fairytale city of St. Petersburg, 8,500 children live on the streets, driven from their homes by family circumstances marked by violence and alcohol abuse. This film follows four children of different ages and paints a gritty portrait of Russian society. However, alternative prospects open up in the circus run by Larissa, who strives to bring a little hope and longing.
In the fairytale city of St. Petersburg, over 8,500 children live on the streets, driven from their homes by difficult family circumstances often marked by violence and alcohol abuse. Among these children, for various reasons, are Nastja and Mischa, 22 years old, Danja, 6, and Igor, 11. Verena Endtner followed them for a year, frequently encountering them at pivotal moments of their existence, facing arduous decisions and serious consequences. However, at the heart of this story also lies the Upsala circus, founded by the generous Larissa, who enthusiastically and belligerently tries her utmost to get these children off the streets and away from the fringes in order to infuse them with new hopes and longings. This tender film accompanies the touring circus through Switzerland and the youngsters who at times stumble or get lost. Unveiling a gritty portrait of Russian society, Glückspilze conjures up, above all, a willingness to believe that anything is possible, thanks to human initiatives marked by perseverance.