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A behind-the-scenes look at The Public Theater's production of Bertolt Brecht's "Mother Courage" that examines the playwright's life and ideas. | Add synopsis »
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Documentary on Life and Work of Bertold Brecht See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Meryl Streep ... Herself

Kevin Kline ... Himself

Tony Kushner

George C. Wolfe
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joachim Boyle ... Himself
Bertolt Brecht ... Himself (archive footage)
Barbara Brecht-Schall ... Herself

Glenn Fleshler ... Army Recruiter

Michael Izquierdo ... Himself
Jeremy Lydic ... Himself
Silvestre Rasuk ... Himself

Jade Wu ... Herself
Sean McArdle ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
John W. Walter 
Produced by
Dany Garcia .... executive producer (as Dany Johnson)
Adriane Giebel .... line producer
Nina Santisi .... producer
Jack Turner .... executive producer
Original Music by
Robert Miller 
Cinematography by
Felix Andrew 
John W. Walter 
Film Editing by
John W. Walter 
Sound Department
Alexa Zimmerman .... sound mixer
Visual Effects by
Alex Meillier .... motion graphics artist
Tanya Meillier .... motion graphics artist
Editorial Department
Alex Meillier .... on-line editor
Dawn Rider .... assistant on-line editor
Gary Scarpulla .... colorist
Other crew
Evan Cohen .... transcriber

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

95 min
Filming Locations:


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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Documentary on Life and Work of Bertold Brecht, 9 May 2008
Author: RudolphBing from United States

I saw this on Sat., May 3, 2008, at the AMC VII as a part of the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. I attended the screening because I had seen the Public Theatre's production of Brecht's "Mother Courage and Her Children," and because I continue to want to understand how Meryl Streep constructs her characters and how she performs. I am also ignorant of the significance of Bertold Brecht, and needed to get a fuller picture of his life and work.

So, with that rather severe academic assignment to myself, off I went on a dreary chilly late morning to see this movie.

The movie is strong, strong, good, good. It is a lesson in politics; a summary of the life of Brecht; and a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at a staged production of the play "Mother Courage and Her Children." The significance of the two world wars on Brecht's life is clearly the basis of the Play "Mother Courage," but the opportunity to understand why Meryl Streep (lead in the play), George Woolf (director), Oscar Eustis (director of the Public Theatre), and Tony Kushner (playwright and translator of the play) wanted - needed - to bring the play to the stage refreshed my memory of the cycle of horrors of war and abuse of authority that our present office holders are responsible for. The play is anti-war, even espousing a communistic view of the world, understandable for its time and for Brecht's experiences; but the play produced in 2006, in the midst of a new war is a scream for an end to war.

Best interviews are with an aging man who worked with Brecht in Germany. His experience in an allied prison camp in the UK during the war, and his experiences working with Brecht on the first production of "Mother Courage" in Berlin in 1949, help to bring the 59 years closer to our times.

The movie is standard in many ways containing interviews, images, historic footage, and moments at relevant locations, but is an excellent introduction to the huge tragedy of war and to the relevance of art in civic life.

SEE THEATRE ON THE STAGE! it is alive, as Dr. Frankenstein would say.

PS. Seeing Meryl Streep sweating it out on stage two summers ago in Central Park, and especially watching her one on one against Austin Pendleton as the priest, was marvelous. To think Streep did the show for - what - 4 weeks running - is amazing.

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