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Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe
(Vor der Morgenröte)
Germany, France, Austria 2016
In Portuguese, German, English and Spanish with Finnish subtitles
For audiences aged 7 and above
|There is an extraordinary moment in Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (Vor der Morgenroete) in which the titular Jewish-Austrian author, in his late fifties, looks out of a car window in Brazil - he'd been living in exile in the Americas since 1940 - and watches a burning sugarcane field, which viewers can see reflected in the window. Simply an exotic sight? Not quite, as actress-turned-director Maria Schrader's film isn't only about the literary icon but at least as much about evoking what's happening offscreen in Zweig's beloved Europe, which is going up in flames. The staggering emotional toll not only of living far removed from his physical and intellectual Heimatland but of knowing that it was actually being destroyed in his absence would prompt Zweig and his wife to take their own lives in their home in Petropolis, Brazil, in 1942.
A critical darling and modest art house hit in Germany, where it was released in June, Farewell to Europe opened in France last week, where it could do decent numbers, even though it will have tough competition from German Cannes hit Toni Erdmann, released this week. Though more of an art house item than a purely mainstream drama, it recently played Locarno's 8,000-seat Piazza Grande, which suggests a more international audience might also appreciate this impressively handled if rather atypical biopic.
Boyd van Hoeij / The Hollywood Reporter
Director: Maria Schrader
Maria Schrader (born in 1965) is an acclaimed screenwriter, actress and director. She debuted as a director with Liebesleben in 2007. Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe is her second full-length feature film and it has been warmly received by audience and critics alike.
|Screenplay: Maria Schrader & Jan Schomburg
Cast: Josef Hader, Barbara Sukowa, Aenne Schwarz, Matthias Brandt
Production: Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott, Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Danny Krausz, Kurt Stocker & Denis Poncet / X Filme Creative Pool, Idéale Audience, Dur Film & Maha Productions
Sales: Edge Entertainment