7:30 PM, 16th June, 2017
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE EMBASSY OF AUSTRIA
Jewish Austrian author Stefan Zweig was one of the most celebrated writers in the world in the 1920s and 1930s. When Nazism was gaining a foothold across Europe Zweig made the decision to leave his beloved homeland. This film chronicles his years in exile.
At a writers’ conference in Buenos Aires in 1936, where he is the guest of honour, Zweig is asked to make a statement denouncing Nazism but refuses. He wrestles with the decline of European society but is unable to make a public condemnation of Hitler. Zweig does however care – much of his time is spent writing letters or donating money to both intellectuals and ordinary people fleeing Nazi persecution.
He searches for renewed purpose in New York and, most notably, rural Brazil. Director Schrader adeptly crafts the cluttered frames of banquets and conferences, the intimate living rooms and the open fields. Central to these expressive images is the figure of Zweig, played with barely concealed despair by Josef Hader.
Learn about a visionary who dedicated a large part of his writings to the utopian ideal of a peaceful, united Europe without any national borders. Today he is considered one of the masterminds of the European Union. He believed in the peacemaking power of cultural exchange, refused to view the world in a simplistic manner and adopt his opponents’ verbal brutality.