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Spider's Web (Spinnennetz, Das)

Kiel in 1918. The sailor’s revolt comes at the end of the first world war. Theodor Lohse, a conscientious young officer, confronts the mutineering sailors in defiance, and in vain. After being severely injured by a bayonet, he feels the revolutionaries are betraying their fatherland. After the war, in 1923, Lohse finds that mass unemployment and the many political parties confuse his reintegration into society. He is introduced to the influential Baron von Rastschuk and joins a right-wing organization whose political program is to discredit dissenters and, if necessary, to liquidate them. In this group he comes across Benjamin Lenz, a Jew from Eastern Europe who, like him, spies for both the right and the left. When Lohse receives orders from his organization to put down a revolt by farm laborers, he brings about a massacre. The press celebrates him as a hero, his marriage to an aristocrat has been announced and he is appointed to the position of secretary of state in the Ministry of the Interior. There is nothing standing in the way of his career, were it not for Benjamin Lenz.

Bernhard Wicki was born in 1919 in Austria and died in 2000 in Munich. He studied Acting and Photography in Berlin and Vienna, followed by theater work in Vienna, Munich, Salzburg and Zurich. His first film role was in Der fallende Stern (1950). Thereafter, he starred in numerous other films including Die letzte Bruecke (1954), Es geschah am 20. Juli (1955), Weil du arm bist, musst du frueher sterben (1956), Die Zuercher Verlobung, and the Italian production Die Nacht (La notte, 1961). He made his directorial debut with the documentary Warum sind sie gegen uns (1958), a film about youth problems in the Federal Republic of Germany. He went on to direct Miracle of Malachias (Das Wunder des Malachias, 1961), the Duerrenmatt-adaptation The Visit (Der Besuch,1964), Die Zitadelle (1977), The Longest Day (Der laengste Tag, 1962), Morituri (1965), Karpfs Karriere (TV, 1972), Die Gruenstein-Variante (1984), Sansibar oder der letzte Grund (1987) and Spider's Web (Das Spinnennetz, 1989), which won a German Film Award in 1990. The Bridge (Die Bruecke, 1959) was nominated in 1959 for the OSCAR for Best Foreign Language Film.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1989
Director Bernhard Wicki
Screenplay Bernhard Wicki
Cinematography Gerard Vandenberg
Goetz Heymann
Cast Klaus Maria Brandauer, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Mühe, Elisabeth Wicki-Endriss, Marta Lachova-Borchert
Producer Juergen Haase
Production Company Provobis Film/Hamburg, in cooperation with ZDF, ORF/Vienna, Csekoslovensky Filmexport
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Awards German Film Award 1990 Best Direction

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