Popp and Mingel
Germany 1975
16 mm
50 min
Magnetical sound


Ula Stöckl (nach einer Erzählung von Marie-Luise Kaschnitz)
Ula Stöckl
Thomas Mauch
Nicole Gasquet
Philippe Nahoun
Heinz Eickmeyer
Lilo Kröger
ARTUS-FILM München im Auftrag des ZDF
Hans Kutnewski


Patrick Kreuzer
Patrick's mother
Lisa Kreuzer
Patrick's father
Paul Neuhaus
8 year-old Patrick is left far too much on his own, due to the fact that his parents both work. The parents make it clear that they love their son, but only when they are hurrying out of the house, or have a guilty conscience. Patrick's need for tenderness is only fulfilled in his imagination. He has made a family out of a doll without any legs (Mingel), an old football (Popp) and a set of plastic animals. In his daydreams he invents a mother who is confined to a wheelchair, and is always there for him, and parents over whom he exerts a magic power. It is only when an accident happens that the adults notice his need: his mother thoughtlessly throws Popp and Mingel away and replaces them with new toys. When he can't find his dolls anymore, Patrick panics and inadvertently sets the flat on fire.


01: At the high point of the ridiculous phenomenon of the latchkey kids at the end of the fifties Marie Luise Kaschnitz told the story of "Popp and Mingel" from the viewpoint of the 10-year-old. Ula Stöckl took the material as a basis for "the small screenplay" broadcast by channel 2. She elaborated on the story and turned it into a black and white film. She created the boy's dream scenes in order to highlight a child's need for love, which cannot be met by someone saying, "here are 3 marks, go to the cinema." Ula Stöckl's film is much harder than the original story. It has a didactic element without becoming accusatory.
Ernst Johann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11.07.1975
to top

02: The sensitive film-director Ula Stöckl has turned the 7 page literary sketch into a tightly packed film of 50 minutes. Emotional monologues enrich the spartan material. Ula Stöckl's version features Patrick's parents, who are only briefly mentioned in the original version. Thus she avoids the cliché of the evil adults: it is not sadism which causes the problems but rather basic thoughtlessness. Away from simple description of setting, the occurrence of what is basically criminal behavior and the transformation from tortured to torturer is highlighted. The ruined family becomes a breeding ground for crime. "Popp and Mingel" is on the way to being a psychological detective story, but it avoids all of the run-of-the-mill effects.
Claus Croissant, Münchner Merkur, 11.07.1975
to top

03: Despite the fear that "Popp and Mingel" would be just another overly sentimental film about whinging latchkey kids, this desperate flight of one lonely child into its imagination has inadvertently become one of the most beautiful and moving films dealing with social psychology. Ula Stöckl manages to portray the yearning daydream paradise of a child in need of love extremely sensitively. A child who turns the shabby remains of a doll and a balloon into father and mother. Part of her success can undoubtedly be credited to her gentle direction of the 8-year-old Patrick. A film, which deals with real "spiritual terror" - silently and often sinisterly.
Ponkie, Münchner Abendzeitung, 11.07.1975
to top


A film, which deals with real "spiritual terror" - silently and often sinisterly.
Ponkie, Münchner Abendzeitung, 11.07.1975