Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe

106 minutes 2016

German novelist and biographer Stefan Zweig was one of the most lionized writers of his day, though his years of international exile during the Third Reich so depressed and demoralized him and his wife that they committed suicide in Brazil in February 1942. This intelligent biopic is kept aloft by Josef Hader's sensitive performance as the kind, gentlemanly Zweig, a man buffeted on the one hand by an adoring public and on the other by desperate friends, acquaintances, and even enemies back home who seek his help in securing travel visas. I've never read Zweig, so I can't connect this story to his work, but one could hardly ask for a more concise notation of homesickness than the funny but heartbreaking scene in which an amateur marching band moves Zweig to tears with its horribly off-key rendition of a Strauss waltz. Maria Schrader directed a script she cowrote with Jan Schomburg. In English and subtitled German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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