Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Happy Birthday, Studio Babelsberg

The Reader

Der Vorleser

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The Federal Republic of Germany in the 1950s: The shadow of the World War and the German atrocities is still hanging over the country, but hardly anyone talks about these things. Fifteen-year-old Michael grows up in the provinces. One day, on his way home from school, he suddenly feels sick. A woman takes care of him. Michael has scarlet fever. Several months pass before he has a chance to thank his helper by giving her a bunch of flowers. The second time they meet, Michael and the much older woman get the butterflies. Soon, they are involved in a passionate affair. Hanna surprises Michael with her great passion for books. She gets him to read to her for hours on end. Michael doesn't realize that she cannot read. One day, however, she disappears without a trace. A few years later, Michael studies law in Berlin. As an observer at a court trial, in which former female guards from Auschwitz Concentration Camp have to answer for their actions, he notices that Anna is among the accused. … Bernhard Schlink's international best-seller, which has been translated into forty different languages since it was published in 1995, provided the basis for a moving and touching film drama.

USA / Germany 2008, 119 min

by

Stephen Daldry

with

Kate Winslet
Ralph Fiennes
David Kross
Bruno Ganz