87 user 125 critic

Never Look Away (2018)

Werk ohne Autor (original title)
2:08 | Trailer
German artist Kurt Barnert has escaped East Germany and now lives in West Germany, but is tormented by his childhood under the Nazis and the DDR-regime.
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Schilling ... Kurt Barnert
Sebastian Koch ... Professor Carl Seeband
Paula Beer ... Ellie Seeband
Saskia Rosendahl ... Elisabeth May
Oliver Masucci ... Professor Antonius van Verten
Hanno Koffler ... Günther Preusser
Cai Cohrs Cai Cohrs ... Kurt Barnert 6 Jahre
Evgeniy Sidikhin ... NKWD Major Murawjow
Ulrike C. Tscharre ... Frau Hellthaler
Jörg Schüttauf ... Johann Barnert
Jeanette Hain ... Waltraut Barnert
Hans-Uwe Bauer Hans-Uwe Bauer ... Professor Horst Grimma
Ina Weisse Ina Weisse ... Martha Seeband
Lars Eidinger ... Ausstellungsführer Heiner Kerstens
Johanna Gastdorf ... Großmutter Malvine


Young artist Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) has fled to West-Germany, but he continues to be tormented by the experiences he made in his childhood and youth in the Nazi years and during the DDR-regime. When he meets the student Ellie (Paula Beer), he is convinced that he has met the love of his life and begins to create paintings that mirror not only his own fate, but also the traumas of an entire generation. Written by Wiedemann & Berg Film

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, sexuality and brief violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


According to his application, Kurt applied to the Dusseldorf Academie on August 14th, 1961. See more »


Physicians and psychiatrists and at the same time SS officers at the Zentraldienststelle T4 meeting in 1940 wear black Allgemeine-SS uniforms, while during the war the entire SS was uniformed in field Grey uniforms - without a swastika armband. See more »


Professor Antonius van Verten: Don't vote for anyone. Never vote for another party again. Vote for art. It's either-or. In art only, freedom is not an illusion.After the Nazi catastrophe, only the artist can give people back their sense of freedom. Every individual, whether he's a garbage man or a farmer, has the chance to be an artist. if he develops his own subjective abilities without external guidelines. If you aren't free... completely free, then nobody else will be. By making yourselves free, you are liberating the ...
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Featured in 2019 Golden Globe Awards (2019) See more »


Tausend Mandolinen sollen heut' erklingen
Performed by Vico Torriani, Mantovani und sein Orchester
Music by Willy Mattes
Lyrics by Walter Brandin
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User Reviews

Nazism, communism, capitalism ... and art!
26 July 2019 | by FrenchEddieFelsonSee all my reviews

This captivating and moving movie is essentially based on encounters, fortuitous or not, of good omen or not, in Germany, GDR and then FRG.

Professor Carl Seeband (Sebastian Koch) is a brilliant gynecologist, cold and completely devoid of empathy. His 'talent' will enable him to become an imminent member of the Nazi Party and to actively work in the eugenics process in order to improve the 'racial hygiene'. Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) is a young artist whose inspiration seems to be animated by repressed memories of his aunt Elisabeth May (Saskia Rosendahl), who mysteriously lost her mind during the rise of Nazism in the 30s, then silently 'disappeared' just before the Second World War: Elizabeth's fate will end at a fatal meeting with Professor Carl Seeband. A few years later, Kurt Barnert will accidentally fall in love with Ellie Seeband (Paula Beer), the only daughter of Professor Carl Seeband.

Freely inspired by the life of Gerhard Richter, the film describes the three decades of a black and then red Germany, struck by two destructive ideologies, before being sold to capitalism. Without reaching the near-perfectness of Das Leben der Anderen (2006), this film is excellent: casting of first choice, neat photography, dialogues skillfully written, captivating scenario, a clever mix of sensual and sweet scenes alternately with cold and depressing other ones, ... As a synthesis: 8 of 10

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German | Russian

Release Date:

3 October 2018 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Work Without Author See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »


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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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