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Power to the People - More direct democracy?

Bürger.Macht  -  Mehr direkte Demokratie?


Directors: Sabine Zimmer & Sandra Budesheim

Cinematographer: Frank Amann & Florian Lampersberger

Editor: Antonia Fenn

Sound: Moritz Springer, Jaime Guijarro-Bustamente, Oliver Stahn

Music: Andreas Moisa & Philipp Kümpel

Graphics: Thomas Kaufmann

Production: Tina Leeb & Sascha Beier /Saxonia Entertainment 

Commissioning editors: 

Thomas Beyer, Ulrich Brockhagen  (MDR)

Film funding: BKM Development Funding 

Screening Dates:

MDR Screening   - 10/ 2020


Podacast: Bürger.Macht - Mehr Demokratie? 

Bürger.Macht – More direct democracy? tells the story of a nationwide pilot project, the Democracy Citizens’ Assembly. The citizens themselves are the protagonists who lead us through the film and sketch the state of the country from the living rooms of Germany. In 2019, 160 citizens were drawn by lot from the German population register. The aim is to include the public in decision processes in ways that go beyond elections. Over the course of four days in Leipzig, they will offer their input on the future of democracy in Germany.


However, what form of democracy does Germany want and need? Through the subject of direct involvement, the film acts as a barometer for the political positions that currently exist in Germany.


The experience of being heard and empowered to take part in one’s country can change a person. The film shows what participation does both to the politically engaged, and also to the skeptical, disgruntled and apathetic: the young, reflective student from Dresden; the apolitical Harley-Davidson lover from Schleswig-Holstein eager to be the first in line to complain; the card-carrying AfD voter from Nuremberg; the sharpshooter from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern who has always had an interest in politics.


They and many other citizens are representative of diverse backgrounds and opinions from all across Germany, offering a glimpse into their private lives in the film and openly and plainly sharing their personal takes on the big political questions. They are not the only ones who have their say in the film. There is room also for the viewpoint of the organizers. What started as a pilot project by a civil society organization ends 18 months later in June 2020 with the decision by the German Parliament’s Council of Elders to introduce a second Citizens’ Assembly! Under the patronage of President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble, it will present a panel of citizens before the Parliament to discuss Germany’s role in the world.


Bürger.Macht – more direct democracy? shows not only that changes on the grand political scene are possible, but also relates the personal successes of the citizens who participated: codetermination can not only change minds, but offer a space in which a divided society can come together again!

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