Based on the novel of the same name by Siegfried Lenz.
In theaters from October 3, 2019
Germany, shortly after the Second World War. The teenager Siggi Jepsen (Tom Gronau) has to write an essay in a penal institution on the subject of “The joys of duty”. He can’t find a beginning, the paper remains blank. When he has to make up the assignment the next day, this time as punishment in a cell, he obsessively writes down his memories. Memories of his father Jens Ole Jepsen (Ulrich Noethen), who as a policeman was one of the authorities in a small North German village and was wholeheartedly devoted to the duties of his office. During the Second World War, he has to deliver to his childhood friend, the expressionist artist Max Ludwig Nansen (Tobias Moretti), a ban on painting imposed on him by the National Socialists. He monitors it meticulously, and Siggi (Levi Eisenblätter), eleven years old, is supposed to help him. But Nansen resists – and also relies on the help of Siggi, who is like a son to him. The conflict between the two men comes to a head – and Siggi stands between them. Adaptation or resistance? This question becomes decisive for Siggi…
In Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark and at the studio in Cologne, Christian Schwochow has staged his film adaptation of Siegfried Lenz’s novel “Deutschstunde” based on a script by Heide Schwochow, for which the final take has now fallen. In the novel adaptation set in post-war Germany, Tom Gronau plays Siggi Jepsen, a teenager who has to write an essay on “The Pleasures of Duty” in a penal institution. After initially handing in a blank sheet, he has to start a new attempt the next day in a cell. Obsessively, he writes down his memories of his childhood in a North German village, where his father Ole Jepsen (Ulrich Noethen), as village policeman, one day has to deliver to a childhood friend, the expressionist artist Max Ludwig Nansen (Tobias Moretti), the ban on painting imposed by the Nazis, compliance with which is to be monitored by eleven-year-old Siggi (Levi Eisenblätter), of all people. Nansen resists and also hopes for Siggi’s help. The conflict between the two men comes to a head more and more – and Siggi is caught in the middle, tormented by the decision between adaptation and resistance.
Other roles in “Deutschstunde,” a production by Network Movie and Senator Film Produktion in co-production with ZDF, include Johanna Wokalek, Sonja Richter, Maria Dragus and Louis Hofmann. Funding was provided by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, FFA, DFFF and BKM. Wild Bunch is planning a theatrical release in 2019.
Filming took place from March 2018 to mid-May on locations in North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark.
DEUTSCHSTUNDE is a production of Network Movie Film- und Fernsehproduktion, Jutta Lieck-Klenke and Senator Film Produktion in co-production with ZDF distributed by Wild Bunch Germany. DEUTSCHSTUNDE is supported by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, FFA, DFFF and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).