Marcus Lenz grew up in the Ruhr area and studied directing and cinematography at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) under lecturers such as Bela Tarr, Wolfgang Becker, Slavomir Idziak, Michael Ballhaus and Mike Leigh. Since graduating he has been directing documentaries and feature films. His experiences in these different fields lead to a particular working style that combines the advantages of both. Marcus film ideas are often born after encounters with real people out of which the screenplays’ imaginary characters grow.
During the shooting of a documentary, I spent a lot of time with a real “Roman”, from his first minute in Germany, his first conversation with “Schwarz” up to the day when he first attended a German primary school.
From the very beginning, I was fascinated by the powerful but hard-to-define dependencies between the characters in this love triangle. Questions rose in my mind: what prevents us from getting into contact with each other? And what does it do to us, when the fear to be isolated becomes reality?
Yelizar Nazarenko, our wonderful child-actor, never got to see the script. Nor did he know how the story would develop or end. I described particular situations to him and asked him to show me how he would feel and what he would do.
He enriched the film with his wild curiosity and his overflowing energy. There are no educated acting skills in the boy yet, and what he shows is so raw, honest and unfiltered, that I couldn’t stop watching.