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Snowland (Schneeland)

Snowland
Scene from "Snowland" (photo © GFF GmbH)

In Sweden's barren hinterland, snow is everywhere, blurring the senses with its blinding whiteness. An illusion of purity, for it covers up pain and sorrow. Elisabeth, a writer who just lost her husband in an accident, has come here to take her life. But instead of finding her own death, she finds the snow-covered body of an old woman, Ina, and traces of a powerful passion that take us back to 1937.

After her mother's death, Ina runs her family's secluded farm alone with her father, Knoevel, a bitter man whose worst enemy is life itself. Cruel and violent, he terrorizes his daughter, who is too loyal to leave him. Then Aron enters her life. A stranger with a dark secret. A man of few words, but with a heart. Their love turns into a passion that seems able to triumph over Ina's misery and Aron's restlessness. Yet Knoevel relentlessly torments Ina, driving her to commit an act that can only be seen as a redemption. Ina is free – and Elisabeth finds the strength to go on with her own life in the passion that burned in this land of snow.

Snowland portrays love in its most radical, naked and vulnerable state. Every facet of this love is expressed by the superb lead actors, Julia Jentsch (The Edukators), one of Germany's most brilliant young talents, and Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist), a star of many Hollywood and European films, who will soon be seen in Peter Jackson's upcoming remake of King Kong.


Hans W. Geißendörfer was born in 1941 in Augsburg and studied German, Theater Science, Psychology and African Languages. During extensive journeys in Africa and Asia, he made his first 16 mm documentaries and underground films. In 1969 he directed Der Fall Lena Christ. He has been awarded four German Film Awards for his features Jonathan (1970), Der Sternsteinhof (1976), The Glass Cell (Die Glaeserne Zelle, 1978) and The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg, 1992). He also received an Oscar nomination for The Glass Cell and a Golden Globe nomination for Justice (Justiz, 1993). As the inventor and producer of the hit TV series Lindenstrasse, he has received numerous television prizes and awards. His other films include: Snowland (Schneeland, 2005) and, most recently, In the World You Have Fear (In der Welt habt ihr Angst, 2010).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2004
Director Hans W. Geißendörfer
Screenplay Hans W. Geißendörfer
Cinematography Hans-Guenther Buecking
Oliver Grothoff, Peter Przygodda
Irmin Schmidt
Asa Nilson, Bengt Svedberg
Cast Oliver Stokowski, Martin Feifel, Susanne Lothar, Caroline Schreiber, Beate Abraham, Joachim Król, Ina Weisse, Ulrich Mühe, Julia Jentsch, Thomas Kretschmann, Maria Schrader, Brigitte Annessy
Producer Hans W. Geißendörfer
Production Company geißendörfer film- und fernsehproduktion/Cologne, in co-production with WDR
Length 142 min
Format 35 mm
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Sundance 2005, Ophuels Festival Saarbruecken 2005, Montreal World 2005 (In Competition), Sao Paulo 2005, Tallinn Black Nights 2005
Awards German Film Award 2005 Best Cinematography, Prix du Jury Montreal World 2005, Bavarian Film Award 2005 (Best Cinematography), German Film Critics Award 2005 (Best Actress: Julia Jentsch, Best Cinematography)
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, BKM
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

World Sales
Bavaria Media International
http://www.bavaria-media.com