4500 Miles of Homesickness



TV Series, Germany 2009, 4x30’

They are 4500 miles away from home. In a country that plays by completely different rules. They can neither communicate with the people in spoken language nor in writing. The cities are gigantic and chaotic; nature is fabulously beautiful but also dangerous. The issue of nutrition is a daily challenge. The country is called China. And the duration of the journey is one year…

Franziska Aurnhammer from Hof, Henning Weineck from Wesel, Avid Avini from Munich and Christian Peckart from Remagen let themselves in on this adventure, during which they were visited every three months and also captured their experiences on self-made videos. Franziska and Henning both spent their year in the metropolis Shanghai, Christian went to the Cantonese province capital Guangzhou that is famous for its exotic cuisine, and Avid lived with a family of railroad workers in the emerging provincial town of Wuhu.

We experience the unfamiliar family life within the Chinese middle-class with huge fireworks at the spring festival, holidays in picturesque surroundings and, of course, day-to-day teenager-life between long school days and homesickness. An entertaining and intimate look from the perspective of four adventurous German teenagers on everyday life in the Far Eastern land of the economic miracle.


“An entirely new view of the country that still presents us with so many riddles.” Express

„An entertaining and intimate view of everyday life in the Far Eastern land of the economic miracle through the eyes of four adventurous youths.“ Westfalenpost

„The four-part documentary soap conveys an insightful picture of the imponderabilities these courageous pupils find themselves faced with. Neat series!“ Neue Westfälische Zeitung

With Franziska Aurnhammer, Avid Avini, Christian Peckart, Henning Weineck, their families and guest families

Written & Directed by Arne Birkenstock and Jürgen Kura

DoP – Mark Motzko, Volker Noack

Editor – Volker Gehrke

Sound Recordist – Ed Hoffmann

Sound Mix – Volker Ludwig Wagner

Line Producer – Kirsten Schauries

Location Manager – Vivian Yang

Editorial Staff WDR – Christiane Hinz

Produced by Fruitmarket Arts & Media on behalf of WDR