The intractability of coming to terms with the past – moral drama about a former guard in a concentration camp
Director & screenplay: Jörg Graser DE 1989, feature film, 95 min., German OV Producers: Alena Rimbach, Herbert Rimbach Production:Avista Film, Pro-ject Filmproduktion im Filmverlag der Autoren, Adanos Film, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) Cinematography: Henning Stegmüller Editing: Helga Borsche Cast: Hanna Schygulla, Günther Maria Halmer, Robert Dietl , Daniela Schötz
Alois Hunziger, a former guard in a concentration camp and now a well-respected innkeeper, lives in Lower
Bavaria with his granddaughter. His daughter (Hanna Schygulla) left the family a long time ago. The ostensible
idyll is tarnished when she turns up again – her relationship with Hunziger is tense. After traveling to Auschwitz
with Karl Lechner, a beer delivery driver, Hunziger’s past catches up with him. He had believed he had
overcome it. And when Lechner’s mother unveils a long-kept secret, that brings down the seemingly ideal
facade. Nobody escapes the guilt an individual has incurred. Can everyone continue living with it? The answer
is no. In this drama, Graser pulls back the thin veneer of forgetting and forces viewers to take a close look at
the past and the present. Keeping silent is not an option.
Premiere Un certain Regard, Cannes 1990, Audience Award
WEISSBIER IM BLUT (DE 2019) ICH SCHENK’ DIR DIE STERNE (DE 1991) ZAHNGOLD (DE 1989) DER MOND IST NUR A NACKERTE KUGEL (DE 1980/81)
Jörg Graser began studying political science, sociology, and communications in Munich in 1971; he later studied documentary filmmaking at the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF). He has written screenplays for TV productions as well as numerous plays, some of which have been broadcast as radio plays. He has been working as a director since 1980. ABRAHAM’S GOLD was screened in the section Un certain Regard at Cannes and surprisingly received the Audience Award.
Guests: Lihi Nagler talks with Hanna Schygulla