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Budapest in the thirties. The restaurant owner Laszlo hires the pianist András to play in his restaurant. Both men fall in love with the beautiful waitress Ilona who inspires András to his only composition. His song of Gloomy Sunday is, at first, loved and then feared, for its melancholic melody triggers off a chain of suicides. The fragile balance of the erotic ménage à trois is sent off kilter when the German Hans goes and falls in love with Ilona as well.

Rolf Schübel was born in Stuttgart in 1942. He studied Literature and Sociology in Tuebingen and Hamburg and has been making films since 1968. A selection of his films includes: Red Flags Can Be Seen Better (Rote Fahnen sieht man besser, documentary, 1971), Obituary for a Beast (Nachruf auf eine Bestie, documentary, 1983), The Red Indian (Der Indianer, documentary, 1987), The Homesickness of Walerjan Wrobel (Das Heimweh des Walerjan Wrobel, 1989), Mortal Enemies - Dying and Survival in Stalingrad (Todfeinde - Vom Sterben und Ueberleben in Stalingrad, documentary, 1993), 2 1/2 Minutes (TV, 1997), Gloomy Sunday (Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod, 1999) and Blueprint (2003), among others.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1999
Director Rolf Schübel
Screenplay Ruth Toma, Rolf Schübel
Cinematography Edward Klosinski
Ursula Hoef
Detlef F. Petersen
Cast Erika Marozsán, Stefano Dionisi, Sebastian Koch, Joachim Król, Ben Becker, Ulrike Grote
Producer Richard Schoeps
Production Companies Studio Hamburg/Hamburg, Universal Pictures Germany/Hamburg, Dom-Film, Cologne, Focus Film, Budapest
Length 114 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Versions English, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Mar del Plata 1999 (In Competition), New York Jewish Festival 2000, Punta del Este 2000, Berlin 2000
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Eurimages, BMI, Motion Picture Public Foundation Hungary
German Distributor Universal Pictures Germany/Hamburg

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