Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Berlinale Special

The Interpreter


Bruno Wagner (Producer), Martin Šulík (Director, Screenwriter, Producer), Peter Simonischek (Actor), Rudolf Biermann (Producer)

Moderation: Jenni Zylka

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An 80-year-old translator, Ali Ungár, comes across a book written by a former SS officer recounting his war experiences in Slovakia. Ali realises that one of the chapters may well describe his own parents’ execution. And so, armed with a pistol, he sets off to Vienna to look for the SS man and take his revenge. But once there, the only person he encounters is the man’s 70-year-old son Georg, a former teacher who has spent his whole life avoiding his father and suffering from an addiction to alcohol. The translator’s visit arouses Georg’s curiosity and he decides to invite Ali on a trip through Slovakia. But whilst Georg is basically out to have a good time, Ali is hoping to find out how his parents really died. Gradually, these two very different men begin to warm to each other and together, they discover a country that would prefer to forget about its past.
Oscillating between comedy and tragedy, Martin Šulík’s road movie focuses on two old men weighed down by the unresolved conflicts that have plagued their lives who are now trying to free themselves from this oppressive burden. Jiří Menzel plays the role of the gloomy and worldly-wise Ali, Peter Simonischek is the maverick Georg.

Martin Šulík

Slovak Republic / Czech Republic / Austria 2018

German, Slovak

113’ · Colour

World premiere


Peter Simonischek (Georg Graubner)
Jiří Menzel (Ali Ungár)
Zuzana Mauréry (Edita)
Anita Szvrcsek (Jola)
Anna Rakovská (Truda)
Eva Kramerová (Berta)
Réka Derzsi (Veronika)
Attila Mokos (Kysel Junior)
Karol Šimon (Pečner)
Igor Hrabinský (Kysel Senior)


Written and Directed by
Martin Šulík
Martin Štrba
Olina Kaufmanová
Vladimír Godár
Sound Design
Pavel Rejholec
Klaus Kellermann
Production Design
František Lipták
Katarína Hollá
Lucie Lišková
Assistant Director
Jan Bílek
Ingrid Hodálová
Production Manager
Josefína Borecká
Rudolf Biermann, Martin Šulík, Bruno Wagner
Executive Producer
Mirka Grimaldi
Tibor Búza, Helena Uldrichová
Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska, Bratislava
Česká televize, Prag


Martin Šulík

Born in Žilina, Slovakia in 1962, he gained his first experience as a film director and actor whilst studying at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He made his debut film, Neha (Tenderness), in 1991. His most successful film to date, Záhrada (The Garden), won the Czech Lion Award in five different categories. He has also been working as a screenwriter and since 2000 has focused chiefly on documentary and television productions. In 2005, he returned to making feature films with the comedy Sluneční stát aneb hrdinové dělnické třídy (The City of the Sun).


1984 Skon Paľa Ročku (The Death of Palo Ročka) 1991 Neha (Tenderness) 1993 Všetko, čo mám rád (Everything I Like) 1995 Záhrada (The Garden) 1997 Orbis Pictus 2000 Krajinka (Landscape) 2002 Klíč k určovaní trpaslíků aneb Poslední cesta Lemuela Gullivera (The Key for Determining Dwarfs or The Last Travel of Lemuel Gulliver); documentary 2005 Sluneční stát aneb hrdinové dělnické třídy (The City of the Sun) 2007 Martin Slivka – Muz, ktory sadil stromy; documentary 2009 Zlatá šedesátá (Golden Sixties); documentary TV series 2011 Cigán (Gypsy) 2018 The Interpreter (Dolmetscher)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

Produced by


In Film Praha

Coop99 Filmproduktion

World sales

Celluloid Dreams