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Brother of Sleep (1995)

Schlafes Bruder (original title)
In the beginning of the 19th century, Johannes Elias Alder is born in a small village in the Austrian mountains. While growing up he is considered strange by the other villagers and ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Köhler Michel
Jürgen Schornagel ...
Kurat Benzer / Curate Benzer
Paulus Manker ...
Michaela Rosen ...
Michael Mendl ...
Eva Mattes ...
Angelika Bartsch ...
Lena Stolze ...
Heinz Emigholz ...
Regina Fritsch ...
Hebamme / Midwife


In the beginning of the 19th century, Johannes Elias Alder is born in a small village in the Austrian mountains. While growing up he is considered strange by the other villagers and discovers his love of music, especially rebuilding and playing the organ at the village church. After experiencing an "acoustic wonder", his eye color changes and he can hear even the most subtle sounds. Elias falls in platonic love with Elsbeth, the sister of Peter, a neighbor's son, who has longstanding homosexual feelings towards Elias. After Elsbeth, out of frustration from Elias' not returning her love and instead being obsessed with music, chooses to be impregnated and marries someone else who lose love she had spurned for Elias. The village burns and most villagers, including Elsbeth, evacuate to the closest town. Elias remains behind. Having heard of "the prodigy in the alps", a music master seeks out Elias and invites him to an organ challenge in the town where the villagers relocated. Elias ... Written by Thomas Meyer <i03a@zfn.uni-bremen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wer liebt, schläft nicht.


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and disturbing images, and for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az álom testvére  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Komm O Tod, 'Du Schlafes Bruder'
From Choral No. 56 "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen"
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Recorded at
Arco Studios München
Cap à pie Studios Neutraubling
In the mountains of the Salzkammergut
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User Reviews

Forget the film and read the novel!
18 February 2001 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

I made the mistake to read the novel two days before i went to the cinema to see Schlafes Bruder. I loved the book and would have left the cinema after half of the film if i hadn't been invited (so i could not run away).

The story is completely different from the novel and i cannot understand how the author could let this happen - and helped working out the terrible script! It's really a pity. Vilsmair once again pushed his wife into the film, althogh there wouldn't be any part in the book matching for her. (I once saw Stalingrad from Vilsmair and was sure that i wouldn't see Mrs Vavrova, because i expected only men in this film. Poor me! Of cours Vilsmair found once again a role for his wife!) So the tiny, tender and silent Elsbeth, a 17-year old girl, is played by a thirty-year-old woman like a man eating vamp from the countryside. Ridiculous!

In the novel everybody admires Elias Alder for playing the organ in church like an angel. He plays the old church songs like no one did before and made the hearts of the people weak and happy. In the film he plays experimental music, he beats the organ like a madman - i think that the inhabitants of a small austrian village would have beaten him out of the church if he did play that way! I liked Eisermann and Becker, they are always good to watch. But it's a waste of time watching this embarassing movie if you like the book - and the book is really great!

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