Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Christian Wahnschaffe, Teil 1: Weltbrand

Christian Wahnschaffe, Part 1: World Afire

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At the salon of his lover, Paris dancer Eva Sorel, Christian Wahnschaffe, the spoiled son of an industrialist, meets Iwan Becker, a leader in the Russian Nihilist movement. Impressed by Becker’s concern for society’s weak and poor, Christian develops sympathies for the movement’s ideals. When Eva begins a relationship with a powerful Russian prince, she poses a danger to Becker, who has entrusted her with his secret plans for a revolution for safekeeping. And, indeed, they end up in St Petersburg, where Christian and Iwan try in vain to gain possession of them. It is then easy for the Prince to put down the 1905 revolution … Weltbrand is a wide-ranging panorama of society, unfolding along several parallel plot lines against a backdrop of luxury and misery. From its use of historical subject matter, to its gala premiere attended by dignitaries from industry and politics at the Hotel Esplanade, the two-part star-studded film version of the book anticipated later media storms, making Christian Wahnschaffe seem like a Weimar-era forerunner of modern-day event television.

Urban Gad

Germany 1920

German intertitles

80’ · 2K DCP

Reconstructed Digital Version 2017/18


Conrad Veidt
Lillebil Christensen
Hermann Vallentin
Hugo Flink
Fritz Kortner
Ernst Matray
Theodor Loos
Helga Molander
Leopold von Ledebur
Frida Richard
Franz Sutton
Josef Peterhans


Urban Gad
Paul Georg, Robert Michel, based on the novel “Christian Wahnschaffe” (1919) by Jakob Wassermann
Max Lutze
Set Construction
Robert A. Dietrich

Produced by

Terra-Film AG

DCP: Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Wiesbaden