Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe–Austria’s Entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe is Austria’s Official Entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

It is written and directed by Maria Schrader, one of Germany’s most acclaimed actresses, best known for her award-winning lead role in “Aimee & Jaguar” and for the TV series “Deutschland 83.”

The movie screened at the large Piazza Grande at the 2016 Locarno Film Fest, and has had successful theatrical release in Germany, Austria and France.

The episodic film tells the story of the Austrian Jewish writer Stefan Zweig and his life while in exile from 1936 to 1942.

He is best known in the US for his novellas “The Royal Game” and “Letter from an Unknown Woman”, that was later adapted into a film directed by Max Ophüls, starring Joan Fontaine.

Stefan Zweig (next to Thomas Mann) was the most-translated German-speaking writer of his time, but having been driven into emigration at the peak of his worldwide fame, Zweig falls into despair at the sight of Europe’s downfall, which he had anticipated early on. Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, New York, Petrópolis are four stations in Stefan Zweig’s exile, which despite offering him safe refuge and overwhelming tropical nature, won’t help him find peace and won’t be able to replace his home.

The story of a refugee, of losing one’s home and of the search for a new one, Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe is a historic picture about a great artist and about a time in which Europe was falling apart.

Director-writer Maria Schrader:

Two-time winner of the German Film Award, Maria Schrader worked with directors such as Margarethe von Trotta, Doris Dörrie (“Nobody Loves Me”), Hans W. Geissendörfer, Peter Greenaway, Rajko Grilic and Agnieszka Holland (“In Darkness”).

In 1999, at the Berlinale, she received the Silver Bear for Best Actress in “Aimée & Jaguar” directed by Max Färberböck. Recently, she appeared in the TV series “Deutschland 83” (2015).
Maria co-directed “The Giraffe” with Dani Levy (1998). Her directorial debut “Love Life” was shot in Israel in 2007 and was based on Zeruya Shalev’s novel by the same title. The film premiered at the Festa del Cinema in Rome in 2007.

“Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe” is her second feature as a director.