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Film / Toyland

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Toyland is a 2008 live action short film from Germany directed by Jochen Alexander Freydank.

It is set in Germany some time during World War II and The Holocaust. Marianne Meissner is a mother living in an apartment building with a young son, Heinrich. They are good friends with the Silbersteins, a Jewish couple with a son, David. David and Heinrich are the same age and best friends; Heinrich takes piano lessons from David's father.

The Jews are being expelled from Berlin, sent east on cattle cars. When a puzzled Heinrich asks his mom why his best friend David is leaving, Marianne ducks the question, saying David is going to "Toyland". This backfires when Heinrich, enchanted with the idea of a Toyland, decides he wants to go too. This nearly leads to tragedy for the Meissners.



  • Age Cut: The last scene cuts from David and Heinrich as children to an elderly David and Heinrich (although all we see is their hands).
  • Anachronic Order: There are two separate threads. One thread has Marianne finding Heinrich gone and rushing in panic to the train station. A second thread, chronologically earlier, establishes the story and has Marianne telling Heinrich about Toyland. The film cuts back and forth throughout.
  • Final Solution: Underway in Germany, as those Jews remaining in Berlin are being expelled. They would eventually be murdered in the death camps.
  • A Friend in Need: Marianne rushes to the train and calls out for Heinrich. The car is opened and she finds that it's David there, not Heinrich—turns out that Heinrich was intercepted by the Nazi guards and didn't get on the collection truck. What does she do? She claims David to be Heinrich and takes him home. Thus she saves his life.
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  • Match Cut: From David and Heinrich's hands on the dinner table, to elderly David and Heinrich's hands playing the piano.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Heinrich stuffs clothes in his bed so his mother doesn't realize he's left.