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Turning Point, The (Aufenthalt, Der)

The Turning Point is an intense, claustrophobic, heavily psychological prison drama set in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Based on an autobiographical novel by Hermann Kant, the film is about a young German infantryman who is transferred to a Polish jail after being mistaken for an SS war criminal and accused of the murder of a child. Harassed by his captors, despised by the Polish inmates, and shunned by his fellow German prisoners (mostly hard-line Nazis who recognize that he is not one of them), he begins to contemplate the nature and meaning of guilt, complicity and collective responsibility, and starts to think differently about his own innocence.

Frank Beyer was born in 1932 in Nobitz. From 1952-1957, he studied at the FAMU film school in Prague. From 1958-1966, he was a director at the DEFA Studio in Babelsberg, but was forced to leave following his film The Trace of Stones (Spur der Steine, 1966), which was considered a critical affront by the government of the German Democratic Republic, and was forbidden to work in Berlin and Potsdam. He was director at the State Theater in Dresden from 1967-1969 and began making TV films for East German Television in 1970. He started making features for DEFA again in 1974. After the banning of his film Geschlossene Gesellschaft, he was permitted to make films in West Germany. His films include: Five Cartridges (Fuenf Patronenhuelsen, 1960), Invincible Love (Koenigskinder, 1962), Naked Among Wolves (Nackt unter Woelfen, 1963), Carbide and Sorrel (Karbid und Sauerampfer, 1964), Traces of Stone (Spur der Steine, 1966), Jacob the Liar (Jakob der Luegner, 1974), The Hiding Place (Das Versteck, 1978), The Turning Point (Der Aufenthalt, 1983), Bockshorn (1984), Der Bruch (1989), and Nikolaikirche (TV, 1995), among others.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1983
Director Frank Beyer
Screenplay Wolfgang Kohlhaase
Cinematography Eberhard Geick
Cast Sylvester Groth, Fred Dueren, Matthias Guenther, Klaus Piontek
Producer Herbert Ehler
Production Company DEFA/Berlin
Original Version
Subtitled Version English

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