Category Archives: Spielfilm

38–Vienna Before the Fall

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 59th Academy Awards (1987)

Based on a novel by Friedrich Torberg
Directed by 
Wolfgang Glück
Year of production: 1986
Tobias Engel, Sunnyi Melles

Vienna, 1937. The young Carola Bright, promising actress at the Theater an der Josefstadt, and the Jewish writer Martin Hoffmann ignore the signs of change in their city. It is only when Hitler marches into Austria on 11 March 1938, that the two lovers decide to flee to Prague. The now pregnant Carola gets permission to leave, Martin is denied it. While Carola arrives safely in Prague, Martin negotiates with a smuggler who promises to take him across the Czech border. Full of optimism Martin walks through Vienna and straight into the arms of two SS soldiers.

Taking Sides

Based on true events following the end of WWII in Berlin.

Directed by István Szabó
Year of production: 2002
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birgit Minichmayr, Ulrich Tukur

In the course of the Allied denacification initiative a US Army major is given the task of investigating whether the world-renowned conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler had collaborated with the Nazis. Trusting in the purifying power of music, the sensitive artist had decided to stay in his hometown despite the risk of having to come to terms with the totalitarian Nazi regime – a tricky manoeuvre in the thicket of moral ambivalence. To find his own truth the major goes to extremes, his black-and-white philosophy, however, proves inadequate for making the right accusations.

Tales from the Vienna Woods

Based on a novel by Ödön von Horvath
Directed by
Maximilian Schell
Year of production:
Hanno Pöschl, Birgit Doll, Helmut Qualtinger, Götz Kaufmann, Jane Tilden

Vienna around 1930. A young woman tries in vain to escape her background. She is broken by the morbid desires and moral abyss that hide behind the facade of the narrow-minded petty bourgeoisie. With great atmospheric intensity ‘Tales from the Vienna Woods’ offers a biting and gloomy but also funny satirical review of the morbid conditions on the eve of the Nazis’ rise to power.



Land: A | Jahr: 1979
Genre: Genres, Drama
Laufzeit: 110 min.

Regie: Peter Patzak Continue reading Kassbach

Student Gerber

Based on a novel by Friedrich Torberg
Directed by
Wolfgang Glück
Year of production:
Gabriel Barylli, Werner Kreindl

Winner of two German Film Awards

„In the face of his father’s expectations and his teacher’s almost sadistic harshness, the precocious and sensitive student Kurt Gerber puts himself increasingly under pressure. The upcoming final examinations take on existential meaning and when he mistakenly assumes not to have passed his exams, he commits suicide.


Awarded the Adolf Grimme Preis 1998, highly recommended and supported through the MEDIA programme

Based on a novel by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
Directed by Xaver Schwarzenberger
Year of production:
Tobias Moretti, Gabriel Barylli, Christine Neubauer

When the old forester is shot by a poacher, a young man who is determined to bring down the poachers takes over. His most loyal companion in this struggle is Krambambuli, their leader’s dog, with whose help he manages to catch the murderer. He pays for his success, however, with his marital bliss.

The Vast Domain

Winner of two German Film Awards

It is the period around 1910, shortly before the outbreak of World War I. A male dominated circle of upper middle class, nouveaux riches, officers, doctors and artists spends the time between sensual adventures and broken hearts playing tennis, visiting the theatre and hiking in the countryside. Thanks to husband Friedrich’s affairs, the Hofreiters’ marriage is under a lot of strain. Affairs, however, are the norm in this society, appearances are kept up by remaining silent. It is only when Friedrich discovers his wife Genia has started an affair with a friend’s son that he forces a lethal confrontation with the other man.

Based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler
Directed by Luc Bondy
Year of production: 1987
Starring: Michael Piccoli, Bulle Ogier


Written by Jan Zenker based on an idea by Helmut Zenker
Directed by Peter Pathak
Year of production: 2010
Starring: Lukas Resetarits, Johannes Krisch, Robert Stadlober, Udo Samel, Bibiana Zeller, Wolfgang Böck, Simon Schwarz, Mavie Hörbiger

Rien ne vas plus – no more goes in the economy. The world has become a dark hole of crises and bankruptcies. But in the police everyone dreams of rising in the ranks. Everyone except Adolf Kottan, who has been suspended. Indefinitely. However, when, literally out of the blue, a dead body smashes onto his car, it’s the end of the peace. Next to the body a card is found saying ‘Rien ne vas plus – no further bets’ and on its back there are seven names. Three murders in 24 hours – Police President Pilch is desperate. After all, he is trying to get into the Ministry of the Interior and for that he needs to be able to show some success. Kottan finally agrees to help. This makes it clear: Kottan investigates once again!

Where I Belong

Screenplay and direction: Fritz Urschitz
Year of production: 2011
Starring: Matthias Habich, Johannes Krisch, Natalie Press
London at the end of the Fifties. During the Second World War Friedrich Kohschnitz flees to England. His daughter Rosemarie grows up a sheltered young woman; however, while the father is busy fighting a hopeless battle over his Vienna house, Rosemarie falls for Anton, a wealthy Austrian refugee and friend of her father’s. When she finds out that Anton is married, it is too late: she is already pregnant.