The film The Worst Thing (German title:To Germany, With Love) follows the restorative justice journey of Kathleen Pequeño (USA), aided by restorative justice facilitator Annett Zupke (Germany). In the film, Kathleen travels several times to Germany to engage in dialogue with former members of the Red Army Faction (RAF), a violent leftist group responsible for her brother’s murder. The film shows restorative justice practices in action, specifically focusing on surrogate dialogues.
The film was available during the entire REstART Festival week. A discussion with Kathleen and the film director Desireena Almoradie was recorded on 3 December via Zoom.
“This film moved me and helps stretch our imaginations into the necessary and still nascent territory of applying restorative principles to historical harm and all the complexities of political action.”
Dominic Barter, Founder of Restorative Circles
How do you move past the worst thing to ever happen in your life?
In 1985, Kathleen lost her brother Eddie, an American soldier, at the hands of the Red Army Faction (RAF), a German leftist terrorist organization. Decades later, she decided to seek out the group responsible for his murder.
The Worst Thing (German title: To Germany, With Love) follows Kathleen as she travels to Germany to make peace with aging former members of the RAF. A crime story and a psychological drama, the documentary unfolds through the eyes of filmmaker Desireena Almoradie, Kathleen’s childhood friend. As Kathleen searches for some form of connection with former terrorists, memories are retold, intentions are uncovered, and remorse and redemption manifest in unexpected ways.
The Worst Thing provides an intimate window into the long-term friendship between two queer women of color and shows how their experience of the world allows new possibilities of forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation.
The Worst Thing (To Germany with Love is an awarded documentary: Winner, Jury Award, Best Documentary - 2020 Snowdance Independent Film Festival Nominee, Best Documentary - 2020 Queens World Film Festival
Desireena Almoradie (Director/Producer) was born in Manila and grew up in the immigrant enclave of Queens, New York. In her works, she explores the collective history of marginalised communities specifically focusing on queer people, immigrants, and people of colour. She studied film and interactive media at New York University. She was nominated for an Emmy Award and won a GLAAD Media Award for her work on PBS’s In the Life. She is a co-founder of the Diverse Filmmaker’s Alliance (DFA), a collective of award-winning filmmakers from all backgrounds working to diversify the filmmaking landscape.
An Almoradie Media LLC in co-production with Boekamp & Kriegsheim, GmbH
- Director: Desireena Almoradie
- Producers: Desireena Almoradie, Nils Bökamp
- Co-Producer: Felix Endara
- Consulting Producer: Ann Bennett
- Cinematography: Lily Henderson, Alexander Fuchs
- Editors: Desireena Almoradie, James Jones
- Writers: Desireena Almoradie, Nyneve Laura Minnear
- Original Music: Ken Takeuchi
- Restorative Justice Facilitator: Annett Zupke
- Starring: Kathleen Pequeño, Monika Berberich, Lutz Taufer