The German Language Film Festival takes place in May and is a collection of three movies, one each from Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.
May 17 - Austria: “Stefan Zweig - A Farewell to Europe” (Vor der Morgenröte)
"'Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe' chronicles the years of exile in the life of one of the most celebrated Austrian authors of the 20th century. Rising to prominence at a time when Nazism was gaining a foothold across Europe, Stefan Zweig made the decision to leave his beloved homeland. As Jewish Austrian, his action is one that leaves him forever conflicted. He tries to find his place in the Americas, living for extended periods in Brazil, Argentina and the United States. But as he wrestles with the decline of European society, he still bears a hopeful affinity for the German people, unable to make a public condemnation of Hitler. The mixed emotions will haunt him forever, as external and internal pressures threaten to overwhelm him." - Awards Circuit
May 24 - Switzerland: “Someone like Me” (Eine wen iig, dr. Dällebach Kari)
“Directed by Xavier Koller (Journey Of Hope, 1990’s Best Foreign Language Film), Someone Like Me is an irrepressibly cheerful love story set in Bern in the late 1800s. A popular barber shop is home to Dällebach Kari, an amiable and entertaining fellow with a great story to tell.
“Born into a poor farming family, Kari was a fragile child, born with the additional burden of a harelip. But Kari‘s mother doted on him, and he blossomed into a cheerful young man with an unshakeable belief in the beauty of life.
“At 20, Kari (played as a young man by Nils Althaus) meets the gentle and beautiful Annemarie (Karla Juri). It’s love at first sight. While other girls had turned away from Kari, Annemarie is enraptured by his outgoing personality. But her pompous father is opposed to his daughter’s relationship with a mere barber, and has other plans for her marriage. Thus, the power of true love is pitted against the pressures of a conservative society.
“Flash forward to the grown Kari (Hanspeter Müller-Drossaart) as he regales his barbershop clients with the tale of his one great love, and cheerfully lets us know how it all turned out.” – Elefant Studios
May 31 - Germany: "Lou Andreas-Salomé"
A new film by Cordula Kablitz-Post looks at one of Europe’s most influential intellectuals—and at her complicated life.
We meet Lou Andreas-Salomé at 72 years of age, as she recounts her life story to a young admirer. Born in St. Petersburg in 1861, she fell in love with philosophy as a girl and determined to live a life of the mind, escaping bourgeois constriction by never marrying or having children.
With terrific attention to period detail, the film recounts her close ties to many of the more famous people of her era (perhaps more famous because they were men), including author Paul Rée, fellow philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche and poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who became her lover despite their age gap (she was 15 years his senior). She became close to Sigmund Freud in a relationship that caused much gossip, but without doubt contributed to her becoming an accomplished psychoanalyst.
Never dry, this biography of Andreas-Salomé shows the focus and intellect that led to her prolific output as a novelist, essayist and intellectual.
A Co-presentation by University of Waterloo Centre for German Studies and the Princess Cinemas. Sponsored by the Embassies of Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Switzerland.