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THE FAREWELL- BRECHT'S
LAST SUMMER aka ABSCHIED
USA: New Yorker Films
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Josef Bierbichler, Monica Bleibtreu, Jeanette Hain, Elfriede Irrall, Margit Rogall, Samuel Fintzi, Rena Zednikova, Birgit Minichmayr, Tilman Gunther, Paul Herwig, Claudius Freyer, Emanuel Spitzy, Slawomir Holland, Piotr Kryska
Director: Jan Schutte
Language: German (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 91 mins
USA Rated: PG
UK Certificate: PG contains infrequent mild sex and language
USA Release Date: 16 January 2002 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 10 August 2001
Multi award winning, German director, Jan Schutte, has gained a highly respected reputation in comtemporary German cinema over the last fourteen years. THE FAREWELL - BRECHT'S LAST SUMMER is a fictional account (based on real events and people) of the last days of the life of the influential playwright Bertolt Brecht.
THE FAREWELL is set in 1956, on one of the last days of an extraordinarily hot summer, shortly before Brecht's death. A mix of former lovers and close friends have gathered at his lakeside villa at Buckow, north of Berlin, in East Germany. He is due to leave the villa shortly, to return for a new season with the Berliner Ensemble.
When we meet Brecht he is at a point of reflection as he looks back at his life and assesses his role in theatre. Most of the women that have been in his life are at the villa - his current wife, his daughter and lovers from the past and present, including one shared with a political activist. As the day progresses, the group relax, eat, drink and philosophise, whilst the Stasi wait in the wings...
THE FAREWELL is an evocative and moving interpretation of a man whose influence in theatre and film is still greatly felt today. Brecht is played by the great German actor, Josef Bierbichler, who presents a moving and touching portrait of a great and contradictory figure.