A new movie made after the well-known tale by the Grimm brothers.
Decades ago, when as a child I received my first volume of Grimms' fairy tales while being ill for several weeks, I "travelled" through a whole new world of stories the Grimm brothers had collected about two centuries before. Reading these stories myself, I formed my own images of each in my mind. "Hänsel und Gretel"(German title) became one of my favorite tales which I re-read often. In Germany, these fairy tales were filmed in the fifties but are forgotten nowadays except for among movie collectors. Later on followed several cartoon versions from different countries which rather frightened children instead of entertaining them or even their families. In the eighties, feature film versions from other countries followed, but now at last a new German release grabbed my attention when I noticed it being advertised on the "Kinderkanal"(Childrens' Channel). I was positively surprised when seeing this movie! Filmed in nearly untouched forests in Thuringia in south eastern Germany, with excellent but up to now relatively unknown actors, this movie is a good example of modern German releases for children and the whole family. The two little actors playing Hänsel (Johann Storm) and Gretel (Nastassja Hahn)play exceptionally well, i.e. it is not an exaggerated theater production, but the children remain themselves and play very naturally. The witch (Sibylle Canonica) is not an ancient woman, a horror figure, but a friendly woman at first who turns evil the next day after luring the children into her house. Claudia Geisler and Henning Peker as Hänsel's and Gretel's stepmother and father also act well the poor people who seem to not be able any longer to support their children and therefore abandoning them in the forest. The whole movie follows closely the original and well-known story. This excellent cast together with the beautiful landscape in Thuringia truly brings back the magic which I discovered and experienced as a child while reading this tale.
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