The US military presence in West Germany in the early 50s is opening up a new world, paving the way for a new era of individual freedom, permissiveness and capitalism. This development in the fictitious town of Kaltenstein is the setting for Between Two Worlds, the powerful story of friendship between two women who both strive to create lives for themselves during a time of great change, coming into conflict with the old order: the conservative forces of politics, the Church and society. Confronted with the temptations of the New World, the two unalike women develop in opposing directions, putting their friendship
to the test.

Marie is a farmer’s daughter in the small town. The down-to-earth, dutiful young woman must assume responsibility for the farm and family after the Americans expropriate the Kastners‘ land, and her father falls into melancholy.

Erika is the daughter of the mayor of Kaltenstein. She’s an extroverted woman with a zest for life who sees the presence of the Americans as a blessing. While her best friend Erika welcomes the new world with open arms and enjoys the easy life with the local Americans, Marie eagerly awaits the return of her fiancé (and Erika’s brother) Siegfried, lost in Russia. Gradually, however, she allows herself to be drawn into the maelstrom of freedom. Marie begins to work in the Colonel’s household, becomes enthusiastic about art and literature – and falls in love with George, an American GI.

Erika no longer seems to believe in her brother’s return. Her brazen behavior provokes her parents, who threaten to send her to a convent. Generations and tempers collide.


  • Marie Kastner

    Elisa Schlott (Unsere wunderbaren Jahre)

    Marie has to decide what she wants to do with her life and who she can really trust. The Americans present her with a whole new set of values, which causes a new world to open up for her, but also greatly confuses her because it clashes with the traditional values she was raised with.

  • George Washington

    Reomy D. Mpeho (Tödliche Flucht)

    George is an African-American GI who constantly has to contend with racial prejudice in his military unit. But at the same time, George has never been as free in America as he is in Germany, and he finds himself soaking up this newfound freedom.

  • Siegfried Strumm

    Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83)

    Siegfried is Erika’s brother and Marie’s fiancé, who unexpectedly returns home from Russian captivity during the war. Upon his return, he finds that Kaltenstein is not the way he left it and struggles to readjust to life at home.

  • Erika Strumm

    Franziska Brandmeier (Six Minutes to Midnight)

    Erika is Marie’s closest friend and, like Marie, experiences the social and moral liberty that comes with the arrival of the Americans. Erika however allows herself to go down a path where she is taken advantage of and is forced to make difficult decisions.


3×90’ and 6×45’

ZDF Studios worldwide outside of German speaking countries

Country of Origin:

Shooting Location:

Original Language:


Commissioning Broadcasters:

Premiere: 1st December, 2021 on ARD
with a great market share of 14.5%.
Between Two Worlds was watched by an estimated
4.348 Mio. households, and streamed through ARD’s Mediathek
by 1.6 Mio. people on release date.

Production Company:
FFP New Media for ARD Degeto, NDR, WDR, SWR

Simone Hölle & Michael Smeaton
(Das weiße Kaninchen, Weil du mir Gehörst)

Screenplay by Johannes Rotter (Crescendo), Jo Baier (Der Laden), Christoph Mathieu (Professor T.) Ben von Rönne (Im Netz der Camorra)

Based on the acclaimed book “Ein Hauch von Amerika” by Petra Grill

Dror Zahavi







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