Threads of Glass

  • Ben Wahl
  • Austria, Germany
  • 2022
  • 35 min
  • Digital
  • International Premiere
  • DocLab: Nervous Systems, IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

The main protagonist in this interactive graphic novel is a migrant worker from Vietnam who moves to Communist East Germany in 1988. A year later, the Wall falls, and she loses her job. She decides to stay, but has to start all over again as she tries to make a place for herself in Germany’s rapidly changing social order.

The fascinating and partially hidden story of this woman and other former “guest workers” in Germany is told by her daughter, who as a member of the next generation is struggling with her own identity and her relationship with her mother, as well as her mother’s different cultural mindset.

The user follows the story told in lighthearted black-and-white drawings with a few signature colors, and carries out simple virtual actions. The drawings are interspersed with interviews, filmed in color, with former migrant workers and their descendants living in and around Chemnitz, Germany, and black-and-white family photographs from personal archives.


  • 35 min
  • Spoken languages: German, Vietnamese
Ben Wahl
Frauke Wetzel for ASA-FF e.V., Ben Wahl for Causa Creations
Key collaborator
ASA-FF e.V., Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, Die Theater Chemnitz, DOMiD, Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig, Lehrstuhl Humangeografie und Interkulturelle Pädagogik of the TU Chemnitz, Fabian Thüroff, Isabell Scheithauer, Ngân Neumann
Brian Main for Causa Creations, Ben Wahl for Causa Creations
Frauke Wetzel for ASA-FF e.V., Ngọc Bích Trần

IDFA history

International Premiere
DocLab: Nervous Systems
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

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IDFA history

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