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Into the Cold Dawn (Dem kuehlen Morgen entgegen)

Into the Cold Dawn
Scene from "Into the Cold Dawn" (photo © Oliver Becker)

Into the Cold Dawn recounts the life of the composer Dimitri Shostakovich from the perspective of a film director who is shooting a movie about him. In 1961 the song Into the Cold Dawn, composed by Shostakovich for the film Der Gegenplan and sung by Yuri Gagarin, was the first music in space.

While editing the film, the director shifts through scenes from feature films for which Shostakovich wrote the music during Stalin's rule. The director meets and interviews family members and companions of the composer, such as Mstislav Rostropovich. Key moments in the life of Shostakovich are re-enacted with marionette puppets.

At the end of his investigation, the director realizes that he is unable to draw a clear-cut portrait of the composer - what his interview partners tell him is just too contradictory.


Oliver Becker was born in 1967 and started making short films at the age of 14. In 1995, he made his first television documentary, followed by numerous other classical music documentaries and international concert recordings. A selection of his films includes: Dem Licht entgegen - Alexander Skrjabin: Kalkuel und Ekstase (1996), Portrait Peter Michael Hamel (1997), Verschlossene Heimat - Prokofjiews Sowjetisches Tagebuch 1927 (1998), Protest der Stille - der 9. Oktober 1989 in Leipzig (1999), Die Jagd nach dem Blech - ein musikalischer Spass mit German Brass (2000), Longing for Germany: The Conductor Wilhelm Furtwaengler (Wilhelm Furtwaengler - Sehnsucht nach Deutschland, 2003), Enlightened Love - Laughing Death (Wagner: The Staging of a Family Drama) (Leuchtende Liebe - Lachender Tod (Das Familientheater der Wagners), 2004), Kent Nagano - Seeking New Shores (2006), Klangfarbe Zukunft - Das Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester (2007), and Into the Cold Dawn (Dem kuehlen Morgen entgegen, 2008).

Katharina Bruner was born in 1975 in Uzbekistan and has been living and working in Germany since 1988. She studied Art History, Theater and Film in Paris and Duesseldorf. Also active in the areas of stage and costume design, she has directed numerous short films and has been working with Oliver Becker since 2005.
Genre Art, Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2008
Directors Oliver Becker, Katharina Bruner
Screenplay Oliver Becker, Katharina Bruner, Dietrich Mack
Cinematography Jörg Jeshel
Bernd Euscher
Dimitri Shostakovich
Katharina Bruner
Cast Armin Mueller-Stahl
Producer Dr. Manfred Frei
Production Company LOFT music/Gauting, in co-production with ZDF, 3sat/Mainz
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg

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