Archive of films Gebirtig / Gebürtig

Austria / Poland / Germany / USA
2002, 115 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2002

The lives of the last witnesses to Nazi atrocities and the descendants of those whose spirit and character were destroyed by the war now come together. The post-war generation also has to rid itself of the traumas of childhood, and so Susanna Ressell sets out to find the famous Jewish composer Gebirtig from Vienna, a Holocaust survivor, to try to persuade him to testify.


Synopsis

Hermann Gebirtig’s family died in a concentration camp. Danny Demant’s father met a similar fate. Susanne Ressell’s father joined the Communist party as a protest against Nazism. He was interned but he survived. Now, forty years later, as he is dying he recognises the former SS guard Pointer, the terror of the camp in Ebensee. Konrad Sachs’ father was a convinced Nazi and, as a doctor accused of crimes against humanity, he ended up appearing before the tribunal in Nuremberg. The lives of the last witnesses to Nazi atrocities and the descendants of those whose spirit and character were destroyed by the war now come together. Susanne sets off for New York in order to convince the famous Jewish composer Hermann Gebirtig, a holocaust survivor, to return home to Vienna to give his testimony….

About the director

Lukas Stepanik (b. 1950 in Vienna) and Robert Schindel (b. 1944 in Bad Hall) who wrote the 1992 novel of the same name upon which the film is based, have been working together since 1981, particularly for television. Filmography (selection): Auf der Strecke (1981), Bittersweet (1981), ...beschloss ich, Politiker zu werden (1984), Wie Tag und Nacht (1985), Kalkutta, Kalkutta (1986). The directors on their film: “Gebirtig is not about the Holocaust, nor about overcoming the past; its subject is overcoming the present. One can only overcome how the past affects the present and how people come to terms with this fact."

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Official Selection - Competition
   
Director: Lukas Stepanik, Robert Schindel
Screenplay: Georg Stefan Troller, Robert Schindel, Lukas Stepanik
Dir. of Photography: Edward Klosinski
Music: Peter Ponger
Editor: Hubert Canaval
Producer: Niki List
Production: Cult-Film, ve spolupráci s/ in co-production with: Extra Film, Dazu, Akson Studio
Cast: Peter Simonischek, August Zirner, Daniel Olbrychski, Ruth Rieser, Katja Weitzenböck, Corinna Harfouch
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