Staedtebewohner / Städtebewohner

STAEDTEBEWOHNER tells the story of everyday life in the „Comunidad San Fernando“, a prison in Mexico City. About 200 prisoners are currently living here, offenders who were sentenced as juveniles for a maximum of 5 years to San Fernando in order to leave it as men not older than 23. In quiet observations the film portrays the life of the residents of San Fernando.

It is December. We get to know 3 of those 200 better. There are Samuel and Ever, still children when they were judged guilty of murder. „It’s complicated but I didn’t do it“ says Samuel. „Now I’m in here.“ „I shot him in the head“, Ever says, and what does his glance  say when adding „I was 14“. And there is Irving, who was a robber and fears the outside, his liberty, when spring will come. On the afternoon of Christmas Eve his father explains him where to aim accurately in order to best shoot someone dead. People act just as they are pleased to do. Encountering someone around here is a constant and edgy changing between closeness and distance. As is the city where the prison is at.

Who is talking of stones?



Country of Production

Year of Production

HDCam, BluRay

82 min

Thomas Heise

Thomas Heise in cooperation with Film and Television University "Konrad Wolf" (HFF) Potsdam, with the support of Goethe Institute Mexico

Original Language
Spanish, German


Festivals / Awards

Visions du Réel Nyon 2014
Edinburgh IFF 2014
Lussas IDF 2014
DMZ Docs 2014
DocBsAs Buenos Aires 2014
Viennale 2014
DOK Leipzig 2014 (DEFA Sponsoring Prize for an outstanding German documentary film)
Duisburger Filmwoche 2014 (ARTE-Dokumentarfilmpreis)
Dokwoche Hamburg 2015