The German Lesson

Director: Christian Schwochow Run Time: 125 min. Language: German

Starring: Levi Eisenblatter, Tobias Moretti, Ulrich Noethen

Presented in the Virtual Screening Room in partnership with MPI Media.

“Prestige piece of filmmaking…tackles some of the war’s longer, lingering questions in Germany and beyond”

Fionnuala Halligan, ScreenDaily

About the film:

Premiered at Zurich Film Festival 2019. Based on one of the defining works of German post-war literature. Acclaimed author Siegfried Lenz published his novel in 1968 as a generation of Germans began confronting their parents about their involvement with the Nazi regime.

In post-WWII Germany, a young man in juvenile detention must write an essay on “The Joys Of Duty” as part of his punishment. He focuses on memories of a childhood spent torn between loyalty to his father, a dutiful police officer, and their family friend, an expressionist painter rebelling against a ban on the possession and creation of modern art.

About the filmmakers:

For German director Christian Schwochow, it was important to frame the film as a cautionary tale for the current generation. No stranger to helming compelling stories from history, he received a standing ovation at the Munich Film Festival for Bornholmer Strasse depicting the final hours before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also recently directed episodes of the acclaimed Netflix series The Crown.

Christian frequently collaborates with his mother, screenwriter Heide Schwochow. November Child earned them a nomination for Best Screenplay at the 2009 German Film Awards and Cracks in the Shell was nominated for Best German Language Feature at the 2011 Zurich Film Festival.

Author Siegfried Lenz was a member of Gruppe 47, a cohort of storytellers that encouraged democracy, free expression and frank confrontation with Germany’s history. His bestselling novel The German Lesson has been translated into twenty languages and studied in schools worldwide.

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MAJOR SUPPORT
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
WITH HELP FROM
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media

Trailer