German distributor Der Filmverleih in Stuttgart has embarked on Berlin’s Films in Motion trilogy about WWII written by American writer J. Frank James.
Films, in various stages of development, include âThe Faceâ, produced with Departures Film, based in Leipzig and starring Ludwig Trepte (âDeutschland 86â). The story revolves around a traumatized Jewish survivor and an army deserter posing as a priest who are bonded in friendship while rebuilding a bombed out church. Markus Imboden (“The Foster Boy”) is about to direct.
In “Life Through a Dead Man’s Eyes”, directed by veteran Jo Baier and produced with Amsterdam-based NL Film and Cologne-based Hupe Film, a former SS concentration camp guard in danger of apprehension for his brutal past faces to horrors beyond his imagination. Herbert Knaup and Matthias Habich star in the haunting drama.
Currently in development, “Bones of the Wise Men” is set in the closing days of WWII and focuses on a mentally and emotionally challenged man who is manipulated into attempting a seemingly impossible mission involving the transport of ancient religious relics through the avant-garde. of an enemy invasion.
Films in Motion, directed by RenÃ© Asch, produces all three films with the support of German regional and federal film funds.
“The trilogy is vital as we are witnessing a rise in anti-Semitism not only in Germany but in the EU and other parts of the world,” said Gerd Klein, Managing Director of Der Filmverleih.
âFascism in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s cannot be viewed in isolation from the Holocaust and the anti-Semitism of those years. And it is flourishing again – just like right-wing sentiment – not just in Germany. “
At first glance, the stories appear to be gripping thrillers or classic detective novels, but the films “use this genre to encourage audiences, especially young audiences, to once again approach the darker part of German history” Klein added.
Noting today’s growing neofascism, Klein adds: âThis is why we should talk about the resurgence of the right in Germany and Europe. And the National Socialist era has shown where this development can lead.
“The aim of the films is to keep the memory of this terrible time alive, without forgetting it.”
Munich-based Morefilms manages the international sales of two of the three films, “Life Through the Eyes of a Dead Man” and “The Bones of the Wise”.
The current lineup of Der Filmverleih includes the Dutch drama “The Conductor” by Maria Peters and the Italian time travel comedy by Ficarra & Picone “Once Upon a Time in Bethlehem”.
The distributor also publishes Rolando Colla’s Swiss documentary “What remains of the lie” (photo), about Bruno Wilkomirski, whose 1995 autobiography recounting his traumatic childhood in a Nazi concentration camp was later exposed as fiction.
Recent Der Filmverleih titles include âMurer: Anatomy of a Trialâ by Christian Frosch, about the 1963 trial of former SS leader Franz Murer, also sold by Morefilms.