Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Christian Wahnschaffe, Teil 2: Die Flucht aus dem goldenen Kerker

Christian Wahnschaffe, Part 2: The Escape from the Golden Prison

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While roaming around a poor neighbourhood, wealthy heir Christian Wahnschaffe rescues a prostitute from the brutality of her pimp brother. At the home of the siblings, he meets Ruth, a caretaker for the poor. Wahnschaffe takes Ruth’s charitable deeds as a model for himself. He burns his money and moves in among the poor. He gives the seriously ill prostitute a valuable pearl necklace that belongs to his mother. After the girl’s death, Ruth ends up with the jewellery. Shortly thereafter, she is murdered and there seems to be an obvious perpetrator. But Christian has his own suspicions … This monumental, two-part film was reconstructed by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung in 2017/18. Source materials for the digital versions included original colourised release prints, portions of which were badly deteriorated; some had German and others Dutch title cards. The damaged parts of the films were reconstructed from a black-and-white dupe, and missing German intertitles were pieced together from censor’s records, or back translated from the Dutch. The opening act of the first film did not survive and has been replaced with stills and expository text from records of the era.

Urban Gad

Germany 1921

German intertitles

85’ · Virage & Toned · 2K DCP

Reconstructed Digital Version 2017/18


Conrad Veidt
Rose Müller
Werner Krauß
Esther Hagan
Magda Madeleine
Ernst Pröckl
Margarete Kupfer
Fritz Feld


Urban Gad
B. E. Lüthge, Hans Behrendt, based on the novel “Christian Wahnschaffe” (1919) by Jakob Wassermann
Willy Hameister
Set Construction
Robert A. Dietrich

Produced by

Terra-Film AG

DCP: Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Wiesbaden