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Werk ohne Autor (2018)

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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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363 ( 143)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 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
Cai Cohrs Cai Cohrs ... Kurt Barnert 6 Jahre
Ina Weisse Ina Weisse ... Martha Seeband
Evgeniy Sidikhin ... NKWD Major Murawjow
Mark Zak Mark Zak ... Dolmetscher Murawjow
Ulrike C. Tscharre ... Frau Hellthaler
Bastian Trost Bastian Trost ... Hausarzt Dr. Franz Michaelis
Hans-Uwe Bauer Hans-Uwe Bauer ... Professor Horst Grimma
Hanno Koffler ... Günther Preusser
David Schütter David Schütter ... Adrian Schimmel / Finck
Franz Pätzold Franz Pätzold ... Max Seifert
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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:

$316,695, 21 February 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Germany for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 91th Academy Awards in 2019. 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 »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A stunning work for those who like to get swept away by great storytelling and gorgeous cinemaphotography
11 February 2019 | by befulloflightSee all my reviews

I confess to being a romantic, one who likes to become enveloped in the unfolding of a film that lavishly strikes a chord of human commonality. Never Look Away takes on a huge and well-known tragic piece of history but has you focus on it not as a documentarian or historian, but as evidence that life is cruel, unjust, infuriating, a struggle- and yet, we all seek and find moments of beauty, love and triumph. The musical score will be said to by some to manipulate; for me, it was the perfect companion to what the film made me feel. Some will call certain coincidences in the film 'contrived'. For me, this is storytelling and what you get to do in film to bring the story to life. As a person, Sebastian Koch couldn't be nicer (I heard the director say this during a live Q&A), and so his performance in the film is even more impressive- so far from his own character. Personally I was grateful the film was 3 hours and had no need to amateur-edit out scenes in my mind to shave minutes away. I wanted to spend that much time, and more, with the characters in this film. It's interesting as trivia to know that the story takes inspiration from aspects of Gerhard Richter's life; but ultimately is unimportant to me in my enjoyment or judgement of the film.

Caleb Deschanel's cinematography is gorgeous; there's a scene where a field of wheat blows in the wind, and the breadth and texture on screen is just intoxicating. He doesn't speak any German, yet it is said that, during filming, he instinctively knew when a scene was just right (another thing I heard the director say during a live Q&A). Scenes like the one where Kurt has a breakthrough in his art are magical and exquisite, entirely belying the extreme amount of technical effort behind its creation.

Trivia on one specific scene: One might wonder who the people are in the scene where the mother is killed by a beam of wood that fell from the house structure, and the child is also seen to perish in the house fire. The director said in a live Q&A that it's meant to suggest that the little girl was the one called Johanna that Elisabeth was teasing young Kurt about at the start of the film, when they were on the bus leaving the art museum and she asked whom he missed the most since they had to leave their apartment and move elsewhere.


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