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Shattered Glass (Scherbentanz)

Shattered Glass
Scene from "Shattered Glass" (photo © av communication AG)

A broken family. A tragic illness. The will to live...

Invited to his father’s mansion for a party, Jesko is enraged to discover that the invitation is a bold deception. He has leukemia, and his father and brother Ansgar are hoping that a bone-marrow transplant from his long-lost mother might save him. Sullen and self-pitying, Jesko has no desire to see his mother, who during her swift descent into schizophrenia many years ago had almost killed him and Ansgar. Once beautiful, her illness had transformed her into a despairing shell of a woman. Stifling his impulse to flee, Jesko nevertheless alienates himself from his family with his sarcastic abuse. When her bone-marrow proves unsuitable, his mother, in a moment of clarity and spurred by an instinctive love for her son, reveals the painful secret which could be the only alternative left for Jesko – his father’s illegitimate child. Reluctant to believe the charge, he confronts his father. Now Jesko is forced to recognize that his father would rather sacrifice him than endanger his bourgeois façade. Jesko and his mother search for evidence, but they are discovered by his father and brother and angrily expelled from the estate. Defiantly returning, Jesko crashes a party taking place in the mansion. Suddenly he sees his mother entering the ballroom on the arm of a young man he has never met...

Chris Kraus was already a noted scriptwriter before making his debut as a director with SHATTERED GLASS (2002), which was awarded two Bavarian Film Prizes, among other awards. His second film, FOUR MINUTES (2006), was one of the most successful German films of the past years and won over 60 German and international awards. His third film, THE POLL DIARIES (2011), won almost 20 prizes, including four German Film Awards, three Bavarian Film Prizes, one Bambi Award and numerous festival accolades all over Europe. Kraus is also a distinguished opera director (Premio Abbiati for his Fidelio in Reggio Emilia).
Genre Literature, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2002
Director Chris Kraus
Screenplay Chris Kraus
Cinematography Judith Kaufmann
Renate Merck
Jan Tilman Schade
Silke Buhr
Cast Jürgen Vogel, Roxanne Borski, Andrea Sawatzki, Peter Davor, Dietrich Hollinderbäumer, Nadja Uhl, Margit Carstensen
Producers Joseph Rau, Norbert W. Daldrop, Monika Kintner
Production Company av communication/Ludwigsburg, in cooperation with SWR, ARTE, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Length 100 min
Format Super 16
Original Version
Subtitled Versions English, French (DigiBeta only), Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Munich 2002, San Sebastian 2002 (Zabaltegi/New Directors' Competition), + Digital Vision Berlin 2002, AFI Los Angeles 2002 (in competition), Gothenburg 2003, Berlin 2003 (German Cinema), Moscow 2003, Rio 2003, Cairo 2003
Awards German Film Promotion Award for Best Screenplay Munich 2002, Bavarian Film Award 2003 for Best Newcomer Director & Best Supporting Actress (Margrit Carstensen)
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg

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