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Scene from "23" (photo courtesy of CWP-Film/Bavaria Film International)

Hanover 1996: in an age of growing uncertainty, the 19 year-old hacker Karl Koch sees the world around him as being in disorder. Fascinated by the fictional rebel Hagbard Celine from the cult novel "Illuminatus!", the sensitive young man begins his search for the underlying reasons for political mechanisms and discovers things which convince him of a global conspiracy. Karl's natural gift for infiltrating into global data networks drives him into the arms of the KGB. The powers of evil are already globally interconnected, while Karl and his friends despair at the slowness of their home computers. Addicted to pills and cocaine, Karl loses control over his life as he progresses on his tragic odyssey. When the bond of trust with David, his best friend, breaks apart, Karl is now all alone on his journey. But the nearer he seems to come to the goal of his quest, the more difficult the return journey will be. A mystical thriller based on real events. Authentic in its details, hypnotic in its effect: far from all kind of speculation, the film sends the spectator on a journey into time of oppressive appeal. Nothing is as it seems.

Hans-Christian Schmid was born in Altötting in 1965 and studied at the University of Television & Film in Munich. He made his directorial debut in 1989 with the documentary SEKT ODER SELTERS followed by the short DAS LACHENDE GEWITTER, the documentary THE MECHANISM OF THE MIRACLE (DIE MECHANIK DES WUNDERS) and the TV film HIMMEL UND HÖLLE. His breakthrough came in 1995 with IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE (NACH FÜNF IM URWALD). His other highly-acclaimed films include: 23 (1998), CRAZY (2000), DISTANT LIGHTS (LICHTER, 2003), REQUIEM (2006), THE WONDROUS WORLD OF LAUNDRY (DIE WUNDERSAME WELT DER WASCHKRAFT, 2009), STORM (STURM, 2009), and HOME FOR THE WEEKEND (WAS BLEIBT, 2012).
Genre Thriller, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1998
Director Hans-Christian Schmid
Screenplay Michael Gutmann, Hans-Christian Schmid
Cinematography Klaus Eichhammer
Hansjörg Weißbrich
Norbert Juergen Schneider
Cast Dieter Landuris, Fabian Busch, August Diehl, Jan-Gregor Kremp
Producers Jakob Claussen, Thomas Wöbke
Production Company Claussen+Putz Filmproduktion
Length 99 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Versions English, French
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Locarno 1998 (In Competition), Toronto 1998,
Mar del Plata 1998 , Thessaloniniki 1998, Gijon 1998, Turin 1998, Berlin 1999
With backing from German Federal Film Board, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern
German Distributor Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany/Munich

World Sales
Bavaria Media International