Fallada – The Last Chapter

(Fallada – Letztes Kapitel)

GDR, 1988, 109 min, Color
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Cast

Synopsis

A partly biographical, partly fictitious account of the final ten years (1937-1947) of the life of German author Hans Fallada. His craving for harmony collides with the circumstances of the times and his own inner turmoil.

 

As Fallada falls into a deep depression, replacing his writing with drinking and pills, his wife Anna cares for him and even tolerates her husband’s aggression and infidelity. She leaves, however, when Fallada falls in love with Ursula, a young widow and morphine addict. After the end of the Second World War, the Red Army makes Fallada mayor of his town, but his inability to carry out such an unfamiliar position causes him to numb himself further with alcohol and morphine. Shortly before his death, Fallada moves to Berlin, where his friends encourage him to write the novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein.

Commentary

The American publishing house Melville rediscovered Hans Fallada’s masterpiece Jeder stirbt für sich allein, translated it into English for the first time as Every Man Dies Alone, and published it in 2010. The book received raving reviews and became the most acclaimed book of the year. Melville House also published Fallada’s books Little Man, What Now?Wolf among Wolves; and The Drinker, which became bestsellers in the United States.

Awards

1989 Silver Hugo for Best Actor (Jörg Gudzuhn), Chicago International Film Festival 
1989 Nominated for the Golden Bear, Berlin International Film Festival
1988 Best Film, National Feature Film Festival of the GDR, Karl-Marx-Stadt

Press comments

"This is a great cinematic narrative. The cinema-goers are swept along by the actor’s breathtaking portrayal of Fallada’s life in evil times and the futile hopes placed in him after the war."

— Berliner Zeitung

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