7.7/10
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54 user 111 critic

Never Look Away (2018)

Werk ohne Autor (original title)
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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 GDR-regime.
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Popularity
1,508 ( 199)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 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
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Storyline

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 GDR-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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Germany | Italy

Language:

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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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,304,042
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three foreign language films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in the same year, the other two being Roma (2018) and Cold War (2018). This is the first time in Oscar history that three out of the five nominees were foreign films. All three films were also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. See more »

Goofs

The signage on the pillar on the left to the stair in the Düsseldorf women's hospital says "Chirugie" where it correctly should be "Chirurgie". See more »

Quotes

Elisabeth May: Don't look away. Never look away, Kurt. All that is true is beautiful.
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Connections

Featured in 76th Golden Globe Awards (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

November
Written by Max Richter
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User Reviews

 
A Bit Too Much
2 December 2018 | by BNesterSee all my reviews

"Never Look Away" is a seriously good movie. It tells the life of Kurt, a German artist born just before the Nazis took power, who survives the war and studies in East Germany under the Communists, eventually ending up in West Germany and trying to find his own style. The story is engrossing, the acting is good, there are some beautiful nude scenes, excellent camera work, interesting characters, and the insight that all totalitarian societies treat their artists as means to an end. What stops it getting a rating of 10/10 is that everything is just a bit too much. Kurt's beloved aunt Elizabeth, an early victim of the Nazis, is heartbreakingly, almost inhumanly, beautiful. Perhaps she is seen that way by her 8-year-old nephew; but he already shows the precocious artistic talent to see things as they really are. There is a Bad Guy in the film, and he is unremittingly, almost inhumanly, bad. This is not just an artistic failing. By having the Bad Guy so evil, it tends to distract the viewer from the fact that the Holocaust was conducted by ordinary people, not super-villains. The film is long, at 3 hours and 8 minutes. It doesn't feel like that, and I didn't find myself looking at my watch. But it could have lost, say, half an hour, and would have been better for it. And the music is a bit overdone, a bit too emphatic. "Never Look Away" is a very good film that could have been better.


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