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Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe

Jun. 02, 2016 Austria106 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.9 1,893 votes

Video trailer

Director

Cast

Josef Hader isStefan Zweig
Stefan Zweig
Barbara Sukowa isFriderike Zweig
Friderike Zweig
Aenne Schwarz isLotte Zweig
Lotte Zweig
Matthias Brandt isErnst Feder
Ernst Feder
Charly Hübner isEmil Ludwig
Emil Ludwig
André Szymanski isJoseph Brainin
Joseph Brainin
Nicolau Breyner isLeopold Stern
Leopold Stern
Lenn Kudrjawizki isSamuel Malamud
Samuel Malamud
Naomi Krauss isErna Feder
Erna Feder

Synopsis

Before Dawn charts the years of exile in the life of famous Jewish Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, his inner struggle for the “right attitude” towards the events in war torn Europe and his search for a new home.

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe
Original titleVor der Morgenröte
IMDb Rating7.1 771 votes
TMDb Rating7.3 10 votes

(5) comments

  • qeterAugust 9, 2016Reply

    Sooo sad

    Josef Hader is one of the best actors you will ever see. Believe it. If
    you do not know anything about Zweig and if you want to see Hader
    acting, because you have not seen him before than go for this one. It
    is entertaining enough to sit it through somehow. And Hader is – as
    always – a magnet to the eyes. But apart from Haders’s acting this
    movie is a disaster. Zweig’s life has so much potential, but Maria
    Schrader decided to show Zweig’s inner struggle with his emigration
    from Europe to America in 5 or 6 long snapshot-dialogues. And to
    deliver the message with everything what happened in Zweig’s life,
    Schrader was forced to bend the talking in the dialogues in such a way
    that all information was said in some sort of everyday tittle-tattle
    between Zweig, his wives, and other people. So the movie gets very
    artificial and artistically forced. And so we got tired in our seats.
    It would have been much better to make a mock-documentary about Zweig
    (with Hader). Anyway, for lovers of great acting I recommend it, but
    only because of Hader’s unmissable acting: to be honest, Hader could
    play an old sneaker resting for years in a shoe box and it would still
    be worthwhile seeing it.

  • Thomas ([email protected])August 21, 2016Reply

    As specific as it gets, but still a good achievement

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • guy-bellinger ([email protected])October 9, 2016Reply

    Fine effort but not engrossing enough

    ‘Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe’ is a movie which, although a good
    one, left me slightly unsatisfied. I was interested, at times
    impressed, at others amused by Maria Schrader’s film, but in the end,
    not totally conquered.

    * Interested because Zweig is among my favorite writers and my being
    given the opportunity to revisit his life and ideas (even if in a
    restricted manner like here) could not possibly leave me indifferent.
    Moreover the cast, composed of Austrian, German and Portuguese actors,
    is chosen to perfection. Josef Hader embodies the great writer most
    convincingly and Barbara Sukowa as Friderika, his ex-wife, is her usual
    competent self. As for Aenne Schwarz, she reveals an engaging
    personality as Lotte, Stefan’s second wife. * Impressed by the
    virtuosity of director Schrader (the dazzling opening sequence set at
    the Jockey Club ; the closing one leaving the vision of Zweig and
    Lotte’s dead bodies off-camera except for a transient reflection in the
    mirror of a wardrobe). * Amused by the indescribable humor of the long
    sequence staging the botched reception of Stefan and Lotte in a remote
    village of Bahia State, the plump henpecked mayor delivering a clumsy
    address under the control of his domineering wife, followed by the
    harrowing performance of a local brass band striking up to play one of
    the worst versions of ”The Blue Danube” ever to be heard. A comical
    episode but in no way gratuitous insofar as it reinforces the notion
    that Zweig is in awkward position, at once fascinated by his adopted
    country and lost in deep, irremediable uprooting.

    So what accounts for the slight feeling of insatisfaction that was mine
    after viewing the film: too many speeches perhaps (what is indeed less
    humane than these exercises in rhetoric convincing only the convinced
    and leaving the others listening distractedly and yawning discreetly
    ?); the narrative process chosen (Zweig’s life from 1936 to 1942
    presented in five barely related episodes and an epilogue) not allowing
    to know Zweig intimately enough? For example, I would have liked to
    know on what grounds Zweig had divorced Friderika, how he formed a new
    couple with Lotte, how Stefan persuaded Lotte to follow him in death…
    I dare say that to avoid being accused of making a merely illustrative
    biopic told in chronological order (the critics’ latest pet aversion),
    some filmmakers tend to uselessly break down temporality. This is
    precisely what, in my case, lessened the emotional impact of this
    otherwise thought-provoking film. A little more continuity would have
    resulted in a little more adherence to the story and its characters, a
    must-be when one deals with such a connoisseur of the human soul as
    Zweig.

    But those are only reservations, not a rejection of the movie. Even
    with what I consider its shortcomings (not everybody’s point of view
    for that matter, ‘Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe’ remains a
    respectable work, which will not make you waste your time.

  • jgcorreaApril 24, 2017Reply

    Amok (the title of a Stefan Zweig masterwork) meant indeed a temporary, paroxysmal state prone to impulses.

    The film, treated in a semi-documentary style with an accentuated
    preference for plan-sequences (in-camera editing of sequence-like
    shots), is interesting in itself. But even more interesting perhaps
    would be to seek, or rather to fantasize, what would have been Zweig’s
    life had he not opted for a terminal attitude. He’d already seen the US
    joining the War. He probably felt that Germany would inevitably win the
    conflict, and this would bring about the extermination of Judaism, the
    end of Western-style democracies, and so on and so forth. Had he lived,
    however, he’d see the Allies gain the conflict, which would provide him
    with a breath of optimism and comfort. He’d see his adoptive country,
    Brazil, leaving (in 1945) a long-overdue dictatorship. Later, already
    an octogenarian, he’d see Brazil plunging onto another dictatorship –
    against which Zweig would certainly say nothing, not in the least
    because he was an anti-communist. One thing is certain: the writer
    would never live to witness the growth of the largest criminal
    organization ever invented in Brazil or, for that matter, in any other
    place. The ”Land of the Future” (Zweig’s book title) has been since
    very busy , trying hard to dump her historical promises into the trash
    cans of History…

  • dromascaMay 10, 2017Reply

    words are not enough

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

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