The film describes episodes from Stefan Zweig’s last years in North and South America, in places that could not replace his native Austria, despite great reception and recognition. The Jewish-Austrian writer and pacifist who foresaw Europe’s decline left his country in 1934, at the dawn of WWII.
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Schrader fortunately doesn't deliver a normal bio pic but (using four episodes from Zweig's last years as focus and framing them with rigorously shot prologue and epilogue) a kind of essay film about the situation of exile and rootlessness, about the responsibilities of art regarding politics, but also about the failures and blindness of an intellectual considering actual social situations.
Digital. There is a magnificent epilogue, with a strong idea of cinema, which is narrative and conceptual, exploring space without needing to get hold of it as in the rest of the film, a very banal docudrama without appeal, pleasure or text.
The beginning was not so promising, but the following sequences in Brazil and NYC delivered outstanding dialogues, beautiful camerawork and compelling use of symbols capturing both comic sides of locals in Brasil and tragic aspects of S. Zweig's personal life as expatriate.
Josef Hader gives stellar performance of Stefan Zweig were facial mimics and eyes unveil all the passion and affliction on Europe.
Well done tribute to Stefan Zweig, one of the most recognized writers in the 20s. This doc can capture the mind and convictions of Zweig, in a world absorbed by the II World War. An example of someone that couldn't live in a place without peace and dishonesty. The last scene is brilliantly filmed.
I went only to see how did some years of his life looked like but the picture of Brazil is stunning (and the last scene too)!
The idea I brought with me from the film was the importance of homeland in general. How painful is to be away.
It is unlikely to appeal to people without some prior interest or knowledge in Zweig but this is a decent biopic that wisely chooses to focuse on the critical last few years of his life in exile. One of the better films about famous writers.
Stefan Zweig zu lesen ist eine Herausforderung, denn seine Sprache ist preziös, balanciert zwischen den Abgründen der Seele und dem Umbruch ihrer Zeit. Maria Schraders Film versucht dem zu entsprechen. Selbst 1936 im Exil, fällt es Zweig schwer, voller Hass über die Entwicklung in Deutschland zu sprechen.(...)