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Homo Faber
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Voyager (1991) More at IMDbPro »Homo Faber (original title)

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Release Date:
31 January 1992 (USA) See more »
Even the darkest secret couldn't keep them apart.
Walter Faber has survived a crash with an airplane. His next trip is by ship. On board this ship he... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The passage of independents See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sam Shepard ... Walter Faber

Julie Delpy ... Sabeth

Barbara Sukowa ... Hannah
Dieter Kirchlechner ... Herbert Hencke

Traci Lind ... Charlene

Deborra-Lee Furness ... Ivy
August Zirner ... Joachim Hencke

Thomas Heinze ... Kurt
Bill Dunn ... Lewin
Peter Berling ... Baptist
Lorna Farrar ... Arlette
Kathleen Matiezen ... Lady Stenographer

Lou Cutell ... New York Doorman
Charley Hayward ... Joe
Irwin Wynn ... Dick

James Mathers ... Pilot
Perla Walter ... Restroom Attendant
Roland De Chandenay ... Unesco Delegate
Jacques Martial ... African Unesco
Brigitte Catillon ... Marianne
Philippe Morier-Genoud ... Guillaume (as Philippe Morier Genoud)
Erica Lawson ... Judith

Directed by
Volker Schlöndorff 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Max Frisch  novel
Rudy Wurlitzer 

Produced by
Klaus Hellwig .... associate producer
Eberhard Junkersdorf .... producer
Vasilis Katsoufis .... executive producer: Greece
Bodo Scriba .... executive producer
Alexander von Eschwege .... line producer
Original Music by
Stanley Myers 
Cinematography by
Giorgos Arvanitis 
Pierre Lhomme 
Film Editing by
Dagmar Hirtz 
Casting by
Pat Golden 
Sabine Schroth 
Production Design by
Nicos Perakis 
Art Direction by
Benedikt Herforth 
Costume Design by
Barbara Baum 
Makeup Department
Leta Andreadi .... makeup artist: Greece
Linda De Andrea .... hair stylist: USA (as Linda DeAndrea)
Edwin Erfmann .... makeup artist
Hannelore Faber .... makeup artist
Emily Katz .... makeup artist: USA
Yola Leventi .... hair stylist: Greece
Rosa Luciani .... hair stylist: Italy (as Rosetta Luciani)
Katerina Moletti .... hair stylist: Greece
Niki Psimouli .... hair stylist: Greece
Athina Tseregof .... makeup artist: Greece
Katerina Varthalitou .... makeup artist: Greece
Fotini Xenaki .... hair stylist: Greece
Production Management
Giuseppe Auriemma .... production supervisor: Italy
Tom Brodek .... production manager: USA
Sven Saint Calbre .... unit manager: France
Mihalis Daskalakis .... production manager: Greece
Rosalba Di Bartolo Tonti .... production manager: Italy
Marc Oliver Dreher .... set unit manager: Germany
Karl-Heinz Hofmann .... unit manager: Germany
Liz Kerry .... production manager: Germany
Cecil Kramer .... production manager
Patrice Lhuillier .... unit manager: France
Panayotis Nikolaros .... unit manager: Greece
Arno Ortmair .... production supervisor: Germany
Sophie Reward .... production manager: France
Antonella Russo .... unit manager: Italy
Rolf Schneider .... unit manager
Raphael Serrail .... production supervisor: France
Dominique Villa .... unit manager: France
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Christophe Cheysson .... second assistant director: Germany
Bob Curtis .... second assistant director: USA
Xenofon Koutsaftis .... second assistant director: Greece
Antonis Remoundos .... first assistant director: Greece
Roee Sharon .... second assistant director: USA
Michael Zens .... first assistant director: Germany
Art Department
Cherie Baker .... art director: USA
Suzanne Baron .... artistic advisor
Vincent Botsch .... stage maker
Shawn Fish .... props: USA
Thierry François .... art director: France
Bernd Grotzke .... props: Germany
Sean Hood .... set dresser
Sakis Kefalouros .... props: Greece
Osvaldo Monaco .... props: Italy
Nikos Nikolaidis .... art director: Greece
Tyler Patton .... props: USA
Robin Schneider .... art director: USA
Sean Michael Fish .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas B. Arnold .... sound mixer
Douglas B. Arnold .... sound recordist
Andreas Biegler .... foley editor
Steve Birkett .... assistant sound
Friedrich M. Dosch .... supervising sound editor
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording mixer
Eckhart Goebel .... foley recordist (as Eckart Goebel)
Dagmar Hirtz .... sound editor
Michael Kranz .... sound re-recording mixer
Mel Kutbay .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Kay Albrecht .... special photographic effects: Germany
Robbie Knott .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Pierre Abraham .... lighting technician
Spiros Balerbas .... lighting technician
Vincent Botsch .... dolly grip
Wolfgang Dargusch .... lighting technician
Gilbert Duhalde .... camera operator
Bruce Hamme .... dolly
Harald Hauschildt .... lighting technician
Mason Hersey .... first assistant camera
Jean-Yves Le Poulain .... assistant camera
Chris Lombardi .... assistant camera (as Cris Lombardi)
Stan McClain .... director of photography: aerial unit
Tariel Meliava .... assistant camera
Jean-Jacques Mréjen .... assistant camera
Grégoire Picot .... assistant camera
Markus Pluta .... key grip
Piero Quaglietti .... lighting technician
Erik Schläger .... lighting technician
Gary H. Swink .... best boy electric (as Gary Swink)
Kinka Usher .... assistant camera
Hubertus von Hohenzollern .... lighting technician
Casting Department
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Giorgio Armani .... costume designer: Sam Shepherd
Zoe Hale .... wardrobe
Gioia Raspé .... assistant costume designer
Marianne Schulz .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Suzanne Baron .... assistant editor
Tammis Chandler .... assistant editor
Isa Möller .... assistant editor
Uta Schmidt .... assistant editor
Music Department
Gary Carpenter .... orchestrator
John Harle .... orchestrator
Malcolm Luker .... scoring mixer
Transportation Department
Derek Raser .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Jessica Alan .... production coordinator: USA
Jeffrey J. Kiehlbauch .... production coordinator: USA
Kurt Werner 'Mingo' Krusche .... production assistant
Karen Altman Morgenstern .... production coordinator: USA
Andreas Pollack .... german dialogs
Kerstin Schwarzburg .... script supervisor
Ingrid Slejfir .... production secretary
Daniela Stibitz .... production coordinator: Germany

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Homo Faber" - France (original title)
See more »
117 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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Movie Connections:
Referenced in Serial Mom (1994)See more »


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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
The passage of independents, 28 February 2010
Author: oOgiandujaOo from United Kingdom

The only other Schlöndorff movie I was aware of having seen before this was Palmetto, a hyper-twisty neo-noir made in the States . I liked that movie a whole lot, but it didn't prepare me for Homo Faber which is very dense, well made and literary. Definitely not the "man with hot pants" type of neo noir, like Palmetto, The Hot Spot, Body Heat, Romeo is Bleeding &c. Indeed it's not that obviously noir, because it's steers free of many of the cycle's clichés, whilst keeping what is perhaps the essential ingredient: fatalism, wherein an initial mistake spirals out of control and controls your destiny. The film is not conceptual film noir, it doesn't wallow in the plot arc, or the destruction of a character. The only film I feel I can truly compare it to is the English Patient. Both movies have romantic themes, have extremely good literary-based scripts, contain educated well-spoken protagonists, excellent location shooting, unobtrusive period recreation, and take place in eras not too far apart in time.

So Homo Faber is a man, Walter Faber, a prodigal engineer, who seems like a laid back cross between Fitzcarraldo and Brunel. He's too caught up in his romance with engineering to seize the moment and the girl. He is reminiscent in this sense of Dominic in Youth Without Youth, and Zetterstrøm in Allegro (excellent films), both love-blind men caught up in their pursuits (linguistics and piano playing). As Cupid is the real God and reigns over drama, these men must be punished.

Homo Faber is Latin for The Man Who Forges His Own Destiny, which is ironic, because in the film Faber is subject to a series of extremely rare coincidences, seemingly manipulated by Providence. There's a duality though, because in a very real sense he has forged his own destiny, it's just that it's inescapable.

The movie is a luscious wonder, it takes place all over the world in often exotic locations, and the recreation of late 50s period details works really well (there are far too many "look at me" type films where the production team feel the need to introduce absolutely superfluous period details).

I mentioned the phrase "the passage of independents", in my title, which needs explaining. You come across many characters in the movie who are independent. Even when Faber is in love and travelling in Europe, quite often he will go off on his own, or she will go off on her own. The folks here are extremely insulated from the manipulations of others. Faber even has the annoying habit of ignoring questions put to him. I think the movie is very ambivalent on the subject of independence, which is displayed as being quite heartless, however on the other hand, you can see, for example, that if Faber had maintained his cloying New York relationship, that would clearly have been the wrong move. So the film allows you to make up your own mind on that subject, and really in the process becomes elegiac.

To be more forthright on the subject, the film may indeed be best described as being about the folly of existentialism. Although as mentioned there is a large level of ambiguity to this. Faber, the "intellectual Philistine", at one point draws a blank when Sabeth mentions Camus and his existentialist (although Camus rejected this term) novel The Stranger, and then makes a joke when Sabeth asks him if he knows about Sartre and existentialism, "aren't those the guys who dress in black and drink espresso" (quote from memory). This is despite him being what I would describe as a textbook existentialist himself. He is an authentic person, full of enthusiasm for his own interests, who lives for himself, whilst recognising his level of duty, and its strict limits. When he truly starts to understand love, and, although he feels absolutely nothing in the presence of art, is able to appreciate the happiness of Sabeth whilst she appreciates art, it is too late for Faber.

Couldn't recommend it more highly, would help a lot if you liked The English Patient. Is currently available via DVD from Germany.

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