Germany, 2004/2005 | 79 Minutes | A film by Sebastian Heinzel

89 MILLIMETRES – this is the difference between the gauge of railroad tracks in Western Europe and Belarus. Not a great distance. But here, on the border of the new EU, another world begins, supposedly the last dictatorship of Europe.



    In 89 MILLIMETRES German filmmaker Sebastian Heinzel sets out on a journey to Belarus to find out how six young people of his own age live their lives and how free they really are in a young nation that is torn between stagnation, protest and emigration.

    He meets a political refugee, members of the Resistance, a house painter, a Go-Go-dancer, a journalist without any prospects and a soldier devoted to his country. The film is a stunning portrait of a generation that tries to find its own way after the breakdown of the Soviet Union.

    89 Millimetres, the distance that railways in Belarus are wider than those of its Western neighbours, also stands for the little difference between life in Belarus and in Western Europe.


    Sebastian Heinzel, born 1979 in Kassel, is a German director and filmmaker. He starts his career as a journalist for newspapers and music television. Later on he discovers his passion for creative documentaries. Before studying at the prestigous Film Academy Baden-Württemberg he realizes the feature documentaries 89 MILLIMETRES and b24. Both films are theatrically released throughout Germany and Austria. His short documentary SAMAGON is invited to over 40 film festivals worldwide and receives international awards as many of his other films. Sebastian Heinzel teaches film in workshops and seminars.


    Sebastian Heinzel

    Eugen Schlegel

    Lena Rem

    Stefan Kloos

    Production Assistant
    Julia Mahnkopf

    Art Direction
    Lars Jordan

    Roman Knižka

    Kloos & Co. Medien


    Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Rheinland-Pfalz 2005
    Best Film

    Dokufest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Prizren 2005
    Best Cinematography

    Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival 2005
    Best Editing


    Dokufest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Prizren, Kosovo
    One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic
    Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest, Germany
    Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival, Potsdam, Germany
    Cologne Conference, Germany
    Anonimul Festival, Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania
    Dokument Festival, Glasgow, Scotland
    EU XXL, Vienna/Krems, Austria
    Big Sky Documentary Festival, Missoula, USA