Family Saga Recounts the End of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
The film represents the journey of a bourgeois family in the last few years before Austria-Hungary decreed its demise by starting WW I in 1914. I must say first that this movie feels like the typical quality European TV "historical dramas" always playing on the Eurochannel, where I watched it. Eurochannel shows TV films and miniseries produced mostly by Canal Plus and ARTE in the Americas, principally in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
But, as IMDb doesn't show this title as TV, I must be wrong. Nevertheless, my comment above reflects my overall assessment of the film: it's a good and short historical epic, with the requisite family drama thrown in to dramatize events. This family shows us the tremendous gaps between classes in the Empire, as well as the clash of nationalities, which were bound to explode, in WW I or since 1992 with the wars dismantling Yugoslavia, which was the southern part of the Empire, mostly.
The plot goes more or less like this. Ernst (Florian Stetter), son of a respected ophthalmologist who runs his family with a strong hand, expecting his son to become a doctor also. But Ernst's first days as a doctor is far from his father's ideals. He marries the pregnant house maid to preserve family honor only to discover that she lied about his causing the pregnancy.
After suffering this deception, Ernst begins a torrid romance with a noble, married woman. Both risk everything to live out their great love. However, as Ernst's medical career evolves, as a war doctor, his personal life bites the dust.
Ernst ensuing conflicts with his father, his (ex) wife, his lover, and his wish to embrace psychiatry (against his father will) are all influenced and interact with the end of the war, and Austria's new fate. This is a good film for those who enjoy the genre.
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