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Based on historical events, this is the story of the Austrian folk hero Andreas Hofer. Hofer was an innkeeper in the Tyrol in Austria, who emerged as the leader of the populace in their effort to withstand the occupation of their land by Bavarian troops, which were bound in alliance to Napoleon of France. Initially mentored and supported by a man of the church, Hofer soon became the sole leader of the Austrian freedom fighters and a hero among the population. However, powerful people in his own country soon used him to further their own political interests. Hofer, whose fighting had been motivated by a desire for social justice, did not find any support from the Austrian rulers when Napoleon was set on revenge. In 1810, Hofer paid the ultimate price for his bravery and was executed.
A monstrous production with a lot of Austrian stars involved was shown this year in Austrian cinemas first, then on television. Xaver Schwarzenberger directed, famous author Felix Mitterer wrote the script. A dozen renouned actors have slipped in 19th century costumes.
The result is overwhelming in a way. Nobody disappointed me. But something is missing in the whole project. Maybe it is a little flaw, a little surprise. This biopic is too slick, too perfect. There are even too many stars (maybe casting Ottfried Fischer as Bavarian king Maximilian was the trigger that lead to me disliking the film), there is no space for risks left. Therefore, even the cool Tyrolean accent of the characters becomes boring after a couple of minutes.
The Andreas Hofer film is a mere commercial project though, admittedly, very well done. I would like to mention two of the actors specifically: Franz Xaver Kroetz is fascinating as a fundamentalist priest, and Julia Stemberger, who plays Hofer's wife Anna, shows that she can actually act. I still don't like her but at least she managed to impress me in this role.
However, I don't think this is going to become anyone's favourite movie of all time.
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