97 user 129 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 GDR-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 (as Evgeny Sidikhin)
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 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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Did You Know?


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


During the air raid on Dresden on February 13-14, 1945, there must have been snow (because of the cold winter at the time), when the hero watched the Avro Lancaster bombers flying - and most importantly, Richter lived in Reichenau (now Bogatynia), located 100 km east of Dresden, so he couldn't watch the incoming planes. See more »


Kurt Barnert: I do it because I can.
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Featured in The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2019 (2019) See more »


Ogni giorno
Performed by Paul Anka
Music and lyrics by Paul Anka
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User Reviews

astounding, life-changing, masterpiece
14 September 2019 | by mathomas-28053See all my reviews

I am reluctant to write my review of this film, only because I fear I won't do it justice. This film is a masterpiece of the first order. According to Wikipedia, it received a 14-minute standing ovation when it was first shown at a European film festive. I can testify that it received a 14-minute standing ovation in my living room.

We follow a small circle of characters through approximately 30 years of tumultuous history. We are intensely interested in the fate of each of them. There is humor, pathos, agony, exhilaration, discovery, closure, wonder, and astonishment in every scene. The acting is astounding, as is every other aspect of movie making. Bach's beautiful "Sheep May Safely Graze" is used throughout the movie; ironically, of course, because in Hitler's Germany, the sheep were not safe.

My life has rarely been changed, set on a new path, by a film, but I can say this one has done it. I wish the same for you. Watch it over a period of two days, because you probably won't be able to take it all in in only one.

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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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