Beyond Punishment

Three crimes in three different cultures, three legal systems, and different ways to come to terms with trauma. The film enters new territory by positing that the pain of loss can be overcome by something other than retaliation and punishment.

The concept of Restorative Justice is led by the idea of understanding the other, to know what led them to commit the crime, and that such an encounter is possible and helpful. The film examines this notion sincerely via these three cases. All the film’s subjects have a helplessness in common when dealing with their experiences of crime and loss. The film examines the need for forgiveness and the inner conflict this wish brings about. What does it mean to forgive? Does it mean forgetting and finally accepting a crime? Would that be a betrayal of the beloved, the victim of the crime? Is there an alternate concept of forgiveness?


Release date: 

German, English (available with subtitles in German, English, French, Spanish)

98 min

Written, directed and produced by: 
Hubertus Siegert

Marcus Winterbauer, Jenny Lou Ziegel, Börres Weiffenbach

Edited by: 
Anne Fabini

S.U.M.O. Film in co-production with zdf / 3Sat and DOCDAYS Productions

Media Luna Entertainment (all media), good movies! (DVD, Germany, 2012)

HessenInvestFilm, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, BKM Filmförderungsanstalt, Media Development, DEFA Stiftung, Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz

Technical information

Aspect ratio: 

Awards & Nominations


Best Feature Documentary 2015, Festival Max-Ophüls-Preis, Best Feature Documentary 2015, Neiße Filmfestival 


Best Feature Documentary, Deutscher Film Preis, 2015