Stories Of The Dumpster Kid
25 Episodes
Germany 1969-1971
16 mm
204 min
B/W + Color


Buch und Regie
Ula Stöckl
und Edgar Reitz

Jobst Neuschäffer, Kenan Ormanlar, Guido Reitz, Jessy von Sternberg
Ekkehart Kühn
Edgar Reitz Filmproduktion


Das Kübelkind
Kristine Deloup
Bruno Bendel (25)
Alf Brustellin (24)
ein guter Mensch
(21, 11)

Ilse Brustellin (11)
Hans Heinrich Brustellin (11)
Graf Rochefort
Hans Heinrich Brustellin (8, 24)
Antje Ellermann (2)
Frau Dr. Wohlfahrt
Heideweg Fankhänel
(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 25)

der junge Mönch
Peter Finkenstaedt (8)
Lord Winter
Jacques Freers (8)
Josette Genet-Bollinger (12)
Vater vom Kübelkind
Albert Guilhamot
(10, 11, 12)

M. de Treville
Albert Guilhamot (24)
Karl Hauer (12, 25)
Erika Heffner
(9, 24, 16)

schwangere Frau
Erika Heffner
Werner Herzog (17)
Peter Hohberger (11)
diverse Pfarrer
Alexander Kaempfe (6, 13, 24)
Alexander Kaempfe
Musketier Aramis
Ekkehart Kühn (24)
Ekkehart Kühn (25)
Maxi Mainka (15)
Musketier Athos
Rainer Ostendorf (24)
Kübelkinds Pflegebruder
Reiner Prier (16)
Al Capone
Hans Sukopp (14)
besonders nette Eltern
Hannelore Ulfers (16)
Heike Ulfers (16)
b. König

Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg (24)
(In Klammern die Nummern der Geschichten)

Festival Participation

1. Internationales Forum des Jungen Films, Berlin 1971
31. Edinburgh International Film Festival 1977
Retrospektive im Arsenal, Berlin 1977 und 1996
Werkschau im Arsenal, Berlin 1995


The Dumpster Kid is an artistic creation: in every story society forces her to learn something. But she, fully grown from the moment of her birth, unquestionably learns more than is called for. This extra knowledge, which is not wanted by society, regularly brings her into danger. Dumpster Kid dies in each story, and across each genre. Her stories are set in a whole range of different time periods. What is a Dumpster Kid?

Dumpster Kid grows up in a rubbish bin. Right from the outset she wears red tights, red shoes and a red dress covered in little flowers. The actress who plays the Dumpster Kid, Kristine Deloup, wears these clothes along with a black Chinese pageboy wig in every story. This means that Dumpster Kid is recognizable straight away: no matter what she does, she will never be like the rest of us. At the beginning it looks like Dumpster Kid is quite happy in the rubbish container. She knows nothing else. Then someone comes up to her and tells her that that is not the way it should be. Everyone should have a mother and father, a warm bed in a bright bedroom, and be surrounded by love.

This is all new to Dumpster Kid, and out of good will she agrees to leave her rubbish container. Everything wasn't perfect in the rubbish container, and we should not leave her in there. But the alternative, unfortunately, is to have to deal with the rest of the world, and that is too complicated for Dumpster Kid. Suddenly she has to stop acting according to her wishes. She has to go through all the processes of learning and growing up. The result is that she kills, hurts and steals, is then killed herself, only to return in the next story to claim vengeance.
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Dumpster Kid Menu

1) Old Men
If Dumpster Kid wants to, she can make men end up standing there in their underwear.
2) Dumpster Kid's childhood
You should definitely see these stories! An afterbirth sets herself up on her own...but then welfare comes along.
3) The syndrome of the rubbish tip
Something about the ability of our society to understand everything, forgive everything and pay for everything.
4) Cleanliness is a house's decoration
Dumpster Kid in the shower, in the rain and under the eaves.
5) Cats have fleas
Dumpster Kid pretends to sleep, because she would like to find out what might happen. But her stepmother interferes.
6) Dumpster Kid becomes sleek and round
A spiritual man, who knows what is good for one, attempts to raise Dumpster Kid
7) A little bit of happiness
Dumpster Kid fools around with the fruits of the field
8) Dumpster Kid gets to know a lord and is hanged
Revenge is particularly sweet
9) Dumpster Kid tells a queen a fairy tale
A story to listen to and watch
10) Dumpster Kid learns a dubious game
Dumpster Kid learns first hand what a pleasurable difference there is between stroking and hitting
11) Dumpster Kid learns how to say no
Dumpster Kid is getting married, but at the crucial moment she suddenly gets nervous. All hell breaks loose.
12) A marmot learns how to dance
Dumpster Kid is supposed to learn what to do at the country fair. She sings songs, swears at people and generally goes crazy.
13) All power to the vampire
It is hard to believe how many vampires there might be. Dumpster Kid calls them all up for a major demonstration.
14) Freedom through Al Capone
Dumpster Kid is constantly talking about revolution, but Al Capone, the pig, is talking about something quite different.
15) A department store thief
After a nice browse round the shops, Dumpster Kid ends up sitting on the lap of the shop assistant and goes along with it a little bit.
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16) Particularly nice parents
Dumpster Kid has to learn that sexual intercourse can also be quite nasty, when it takes place in the toilet.
17) You can't take it with you
Dumpster Kid goes on the game and is murdered.
18) To the audience: Please bring your stories and moneymaking tips to the cash desk
19) The witches must burn
Is Dumpster Kid destined to end up a failure? Will she be saved from above?
20) To the audience: Please bring your stories and moneymaking tips to the cash desk
21) Dumpster Kid likes having good people
over for a nosh-up

The way to a person's heart is through his stomach. But sometimes you ruin him that way.
22) Dumpster Kid drowns Dumpster Kids
There is lovely music to this one, and it is all very poetic 23) To the audience: Please inquire about stories and moneymaking tips at the box-office.
24) Dumpster Kid rides for the king
The biggest film of all time. Intrigue, old walls, squeaking floors, the queen sleeps with the wrong man, Dumpster Kid marries d'Artagnan and rides off on a white horse, more intrigue and this time Dumpster Kid plays along. By the end of it everything is deemed to be her fault.
25) The bank account in the woods
Dumpster Kid believes in our system of credit. She therefore has to jump out of the fourth floor of a house and sing a sad song.
26) to 64) Please leave your stories and money-making tips at the box-office.
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The Film

A lot of cinema against cinema
by Peter W. Jansen
Ula Stöckl (Neun Leben hat die Katze) and Edgar Reitz (Mahlzeiten, Cardillac) are at the moment working on a film, which will radically shake up the traditional idea of cinema. Stories of the Dumpster Kid is around 10 hours in length all in all, but can be watched in small segments at the will of the viewer. This is possible because the Dumpster Kid is a sort of cinematic anthology, made up of different independent episodes or stories; but it is also a cinematic anthology in the traditional sense: each chapter imitates or satirizes individual film genres. It all started with a swear word. In her first film in 1968 Ula Stöckl worked with the French actress Kristine Deloup.

She played Ann (a Frenchwoman), which wasn't a role in the traditional sense, but rather a cinematic figure in the form of the actress: the actress was simply the author of what she portrayed. Ula Stöckl tells how Kristine was at the time obsessed with strange-sounding and foreign words, and one day stumbled across the Austrian swear word Dumpster Kid. They took the word literally and played with it, and in this way, according to Ula Stöckl, they came up with the idea and script for the film.

"The story started," says Edgar Reitz, "by taking some sort of social worker with a highly symbolic name. We decided on Doctor Welfare. One day she is cleaning her office, takes the rubbish out, and when she opens the lid of the rubbish container she discovers a child. She says: "You can't stay in there!" Ula Stöckl adds, "I can't take responsibility, if you are sitting in there." So, the child is pulled out of the container. The Dumpster Kid is an "amoral, or rather polymorphic, infantile, monstrous person" (Reitz) and is played by the adult Kristine Deloup.

She has no past, no history, no character, is "completely stylized" as a symbolic figure. The Dumpster Kid doesn't fit into any society. The Dumpster Kid does her best, but the result is always a deformation of her nature. Her attempts always result in the wrong behavior or the wrong attitudes. That's the way it goes in the bourgeois drama, the gangster film, the historical epic, the vampire movie, the science-fiction film, western or musical.
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The Dumpster Kid is tortured, always gets up on her feet again in the next episode, and always represents resistance, the antithesis to each particular society, in each particular genre. And this because she is too human, and too much of child. In the parts of the film which are already finished or at least half-finished (for example the musical or the erotic episode in the bourgeois household or Dumpster Kid as a witch) it is clear, and may well become even clearer in the episodes which are set in different film-genres, that these genres are at heart nothing more than a rigid obedience to certain patterns of behavior.

Just as Dumpster Kid flies in the face of convention, so do the filmmakers go against the mores of the film-industry, both in style of genre and production technique. The production of Dumpster Kid moves forward in fits and starts, when the film-makers and their team, in-between other projects, projects which in turn help finance the making of the film. Reitz: "Dumpster Kid can only be used sensibly if, for example, its actual performance leads in turn to a new way of working.

We believe that we might be able to reach the point where the audience itself is able to decide with us on how the piece should be performed." Whether this actually transpires is impossible to predict. But it can't really be that far off the mark: any flawed result would still be a learning experience for Stöckl and Reitz. It is no longer important for them to make a film, which gets top marks on a purely aesthetic level. Because they are both also "Dumpster Kids", to whom Doctor Welfare also once said that they were no longer allowed to live in the rubbish container, as it would have been irresponsible, and not right.

Stöckl and Reitz want it to be possible to live in a reformed society without the influence of reforming welfare. And, irrespective of the result, that is a very important step.
Frankfurter Rundschau, 25.04.1970
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02: This is no film for a quiet day off. The film industry's self-regulating body (the FSK) only agreed to release a 96 minute version film on the proviso that it would have a rating for over 18 year olds and undergo half a dozen edits. "The story of the Dumpster Kid, an outsider of society," according to the reasoning for the decision "is confusing and defective for young people. The film is full of unsavory turns of phrase. The disparagement, in the form of parody, of religious values is highly detrimental to young people. In addition the portrayal of sexuality appears in a form, which must confuse and disgust young people. (For example when the Dumpster Kid masturbates in the barley field.)

As well as this, the scenes in which the Dumpster Kid is throttled and hanged, as well as the drowning of other Dumpster Kids, are done in such a way as to damage the development of young people. Therefore the working committee denies the granting of a certificate of viewing for under 18s. Result: 18 year olds and older only admitted pending edits." After detailed information regarding the disgusting words and pictures to be cut, the FSK comes to the pious decision that Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz's new film, even after having been edited and placed under a ban for young people, should not be "shown on holy days."
Tagesanzeiger Zürich, 23.10.70
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01: Reitz and Stöckl have not, as one might have presumed, made underground films here. Their stories are technically flawless, entertaining, at least in most of the cases, and are based on well-known genres, which they mercilessly parody: from the musketeers and the thriller, to the "heimat film" and the rubbishy old movie-flick...the newspaper "Filmkritik" was quite right in its observation "if you would like to understand the prejudices which make up the general moral mood, which fill the cinemas with porno trash, then you should see The Stories of the Dumpster Kid. For that, and other reasons".
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 06.07.1971
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02: The love of cinema is evident in this film, a paradox when you think that this movie isn't even allowed to be shown in most cinemas.
Wilhelm Roth, Recklinghauesener Zeitung, 08.07.1971
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03: This is a new and relaxed form of didactic film, which has a bit of fun by criticising society. We'll hear and see a lot from this Dumpster Kid.
Christoph Müller, Tauber Zeitung, 03.07.1971
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04: The "Stories of the Dumpster Kid" are more than anything else short films for simple and enjoyable cinema. (...) These didactic films show that a new path of commitment and enlightenment is possible, all the while providing pleasant entertainment.
Karin Rau, dpa, Mannheimer Morgen, 08.07.1971
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05: This series of 23 short films (64 are planned altogether) are among the most important and best films, which German cinema over the last few years has produced.
Ekkehard Pluta, Film International, Berlin 01.07.1971
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06: "The stories of Dumpster Kid" by Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz is simple cinema, with the emphasis on enjoyment.
Christa Maerker
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07: A cheeky exercise in loosening up contemporary cinema, both for the filmmaker and the audience.
U.S. in Nachtdepesche/ Telegraf, 30.06.1971
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08: A film so full of sensitive intelligence and ingenious notions, so imaginatively didactic and yet so playful, that it completely bowls you over.
M. Delling, Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt, Hamburg, 07.1971
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09: "The Dumpster Kid" is like an extremely clever comic, critical pop-art, not stuck-up, but refreshingly direct.
Reiner Hartmann, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 03.07.1971
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10: Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz's film stops 23 times and yet keeps going: there is a finish but no end. Cinema, which is not compressed into the one-and-a-half hour format, and is thereby freed from the usual dramatic theory of how cinema should be. And yet, cinema it remains.
Klaus Eder, Deutsche Zeitung, 03.07.1971
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Why Dumpster Kid?
A statement by
Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz

Because in 1969 we had no desire to make another 90 minute film which would get no distribution.
Because we came up with too many stories for a normal film.
Because whilst shooting we didn't want to restrict ourselves to films of 2 minutes or 20 minutes. Therefore we made the films between 2 and 20 minutes long.
Because when you stop thinking about German distribution companies, the world becomes beautiful once again.
Because we like true stories, as well as untrue ones.

Because Dumpster Kid is allowed to die at the end of one story without have to be dead for the next one.
Because we like playing with costumes. But we like playing without them too.
Because we wanted to film a story about being brought up.
Because we wanted to see all our friends in good roles.
Because we were so angry.
Because Dumpster Kid likes fucking.
Because we think it is crap that she has to apologize for that, and we think the FSK is a pile of crap too.
Because one day the tapes will be made, and we wanted to know whether that will ever happen with the distributor.
Because we got money from the federal ministry and under no circumstances did we want to give it back.
Because we are all Dumpster Kids
And last but not least, we opened a movie in a pub in Munich and Dumpster Kid is shown there every day apart from Monday, entry costs 3,50 DM, and Dumpster Kids are on the menu.