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THE LAST TRAIN (photo © CCC-Filmkunst)

The Last Train accompanies a small group of Jews from the point of being arrested to their foreseeable end in a concentration camp. In the last days of the Second World War they were penned up in cattle cars of a “special train” and carried off to Auschwitz, like thousands of Jewish people. In the course of this agonizing journey more than half of them die of thirst. The episodes from some of the families’ previous lives shown in flashbacks are in stark contrast to what they are enduring. Yet the doomed occupants' will to live in spite of their claustrophobic and shattering situation in the cattle car is central. But will it be strong enough for anyone to survive this hell on rails?

Dana Vávrová was born in Prague in 1967 and was already a child star when she was cast in the lead of the German TV series Ein Stueck Himmel. Since then, she has won many prizes for her roles in his films like Autumn Milk (Herbstmilch, 1988), Rama Dama (1990), Stalingrad (1992), Brother of Sleep (Schlafes Bruder, 1994) and The Harmonists (1997). She has also made regular appeareances in TV films by directors like Marian Vajda and Peter Lehner. In 1995, she co-directed Wia die Zeit vergeht, a documentary on the Alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern, and made her directorial debut proper with Hunger - Addicted To Love (Hunger - Sehnsucht nach Liebe, 1997), followed by Bear on the Run (Der Baer ist los, 2000), and The Last Train (Der letzte Zug, 2006, in co-direction with Joseph Vilsmaier).

Joseph Vilsmaier was born in 1939 and grew up in Munich and Pfarrkirchen. He undertook an apprenticeship at ARRI from 1953 to 1961 and studied Music at the Munich Conservatory. In 1961, he became a camera assistant at Bavaria and has been a director of photography since 1972. He made his directorial debut in 1988 with AUTUMN MILK (HERBSTMILCH), followed by RAMA DAMA (1990), STALINGRAD (1992), CHARLIE & LOUISE (1993), BROTHER OF SLEEP (SCHLAFES BRUDER, 1995), COMEDIAN HARMONISTS (1997), MARLENE (1999),LEO & CLAIRE (2001), ROCK CRYSTAL (BERGKRISTALL, 2004), THE LAST TRAIN (DER LETZTE ZUG, 2006), DIE GESCHICHTE VOM BRANDNER KASPAR (2008), and NANGA PARBAT (2009).
Genre History, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Directors Dana Vávrová, Joseph Vilsmaier
Screenplay Stephen Glantz
Cinematography Joseph Vilsmaier
Uli Schoen
Chris Heyne
Jaromir Svarc, Zdenek Lstiburek
Cast Juraj Kukura, Brigitte Grothum, Lale Yavas, Sharon Brauner, Hans-Juergen Silbermann, Lena Beyerling, Roman Roth, Gedeon Burkhard, Sibel Kekilli
Producers Alice Brauner, Artur Brauner
Production Company CCC-Filmkunst, in co-production with Diamant Films/Prague
Length 122 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Berlin 2007 (German Cinema), Karlovy Vary 2007, Shanghai 2007
Awards Bavarian Film Award 2006 (Special Jury Prize)
With backing from German Federal Film Board
German Distributor Concorde Filmverleih

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