country, year CAN'T BE SILENT

Germany, 2013



running time


directed by

Julia Oelkers


Strom & Wasser feat. The Refugees


German, English, French, Farsi




Musicians from Africa, the Balkans and Iran are touring Germany with German songwriter Heinz Ratz and his band. What makes this project special is that most of these musicians are asylum seekers. In Germany, refugees are subject to special laws that limit their freedom of movement, their ability to get a job, to choose their place of residence, their groceries and clothing. They live in special facilities and are fenced off from the rest of the German population. With few points of contact, things have remained this way for decades.
The concert-tour breaks that pattern and for the group, the project offers an opportunity to overcome this crushing isolation through music. By means of a musical documentary about the band, the film Can’t Be Silent will bring light to the living conditions of asylum seekers.


CANT'BE SILENT_Directorabout the author

Julia Oelkers has a Master’s degree in Media Science at Freie Universität, Berlin.
Oelkers has worked since 1995 as a freelance TV-journalist and director of documentary films. Can´t Be Silent is her first feature-length cine-film.

Filmography: Can’t Be Silent (2013), It Is Also My History (about neighbourhood mothers tracing the footsteps of National-Socialism), Westberlin 1968 (about the year of the students’ revolt), Frohsinn, Fernsehen Und Faschismus / Cheerfulness, television and fascism.


festivals, awards (selection)

Audience Award – International Filmfestival Emden Norderney, Nurmberg International Human Rights Filmfestival, Vienna This Human World Filmfestival, Nordic Filmdasy Lübeck, Dokfest Kassel, Unabhängige Filmtage Osnabrück