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FAREWELL, THE (ABSCHIED)

FAREWELL, THE

It is one of the last days of an exceptionally hot summer. Bertolt Brecht is about to leave his lakeside house among the tall birches in Brandenburg to return to Berlin for the upcoming theater season. Most of the women of his life are there: his wife Helene Weigel, daughter Barbara, the old lover Ruth Berlau, his latest flame, the nubile actress Kaethe Reichel and sensous Isot Kilian, whose affections and body he shares with the rebel political activist Wolfgang Harich. They swim, write, eat, drink and philosophize about art, politics, the basic tents of life - and throughout, the Stasi is there - lurking on the sidelines - waiting.

The serenity of the country on this summer day of 1956 stands in marked contrast to the deep, volatile emotions of the characters. Brecht is at the center of the storm in the heaven and hell of human relationships: love and hatred, jealousy and egomania, betrayal and dashed hopes. He struggles to make plans for a future that fate was soon to end.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2000
Director Jan Schütte
Screenplay Klaus Pohl
Cinematography Edward Klosinski
Renate Merck
John Cale
Cast Margit Rogall, Elfriede Irrall, Jeanette Hain, Monica Bleibtreu, Josef Bierbichler, Samuel Fintzi
Producers Henryk Romanowski, Gesche Carstens, Jan Schütte
Production Company Novoskop Film/Berlin, in co-production with Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures, ARTE, WDR, ORB/Potsdam, SWR
Length 91 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Cannes 2000 (Un Certain Regard), Montreal 2000, Toronto 2000, Ghent 2000, Haugesund 2000, Gothenburg 2001
With backing from Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, European Scriptfund, Kulturstiftung der Deutschen Bank
German Distributor Neue Pegasos Film/Frankfurt

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