“Dear Thomas”: cinema homage to Thomas Brasch in Arte Mediathek | – Culture

As of: 02/14/2023 6:32 p.m

Andreas Kleinert made a feature film about Thomas Brasch, the writer and playwright who died in Berlin in 2001 at the age of 56. The film got nine Lolas. It is in the Arte Mediathek.

by Katja Nicodemus

With Andreas Kleinert’s homage to Thomas Brasch with Albrecht Schuch in the leading role, a co-production with NDR, BR, arte and WDR, led the race for the German Film Prize in 2022 with twelve nominations. The film was first broadcast in February on Arte and is in the Arte Mediathek until March 14, 2023.

Further information

The Lolas at the German Film Awards have been awarded. Two NDR co-productions received prizes, nine went to the drama “Dear Thomas”. more

“Dear Thomas”: Homage to GDR writer Thomas Brasch

“Dear Thomas” is about one of the greatest literary talents in the GDR and also in reunified Germany: Thomas Brasch was born in England in 1945 as the son of Jewish exiles. His father was a high-ranking SED cultural functionary and a companion of Erich Honnecker. In Andreas Kleinert’s film, Jörg Schüttauf plays this father who sends his little son to a draconian cadet institute. Kleinert’s film traces Brasch’s biographical stations and stages. It shows a young man who has a critical distance from the GDR, who offends because he feels challenged by this state. And not from the curriculum at the film school.

Albrecht Schuch embodies Thomas Brasch in every fiber

The film will always return home, to the Braschs’ living room, where father and son are fighting a highly politicized generational conflict. In the case of the old, belief in the new state leads to the justification of a dictatorship. In his own way, the boy believes in the GDR and – still – in his father.

Albrecht Schuch plays Brasch. He embodies it in every fiber of his rebellious poetic nature. He is the revolutionary who begins to write in a clear, unfussy language with which he works through the circumstances. And to himself. These conditions are becoming increasingly unbearable for Brasch and his friends. A disillusioning turning point is the invasion of the Warsaw Pact in Czechoslovakia, the crushing of the Prague Spring.

“Dear Thomas”: Figures are removed from their contemporary history

“Dear Thomas” is photographed in a silvery, abstract black and white. After all, it’s about detaching figures from contemporary history from their contemporary history. Albrecht Schuch achieves this with a moving juxtaposition of self-confidence and self-doubt, despair and lust for life.

And how do you play Katharina Thalbach, who has always been an appearance herself? When they first meet her in the theater canteen, Jella Haase gives her character an abysmal exuberance. It’s inevitable that the dialogues sometimes have to explain things that the characters actually already know. But again and again Kleinert’s screenwriter Thomas Wendrich succeeds in creating moments of wonderful openness and poetry. For example, when Brasch presents his great love Thalbach with a play that he wrote for her.

In 1976, Thomas Brasch signed the resolution against Wolf Biermann’s expatriation. When he was banned from publishing, he and Thalbach left the GDR together with their daughter. A single sentence suffices the film for the fact that it is a ambivalent step for the author.

Further information

The writer and filmmaker Thomas Brasch in 1976.

Thomas Brasch is one of the most extraordinary voices in German post-war literature. He became known with plays like “Lovely Rita”. more

Jella Haase with her Lola - German Film Award" for "Dear Thomas" in Berlin © Jens Kalaene/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk ++ Foto: Jens Kalaene

The drama about the GDR poet Thomas Brasch received nine Lolas at the German Film Prize Gala. But there were more winners from the North. more

Black and white photograph of a man sitting at a table on a stage and looking ahead.  © Zeitsprung Pictures / Wild Bunch Germany Photo: Peter Hartwig

Dear Thomas

Production year:
Country of manufacture:
Additional info:
Among others with Albrecht Schuch, Jella Haase and Jörg Schüttauf.
Andrew Kleinert
from 16 years
Theatrical release:
11. November 2021

This topic in the program:

NDR Culture | New Movies | 06/24/2022 | 4:20 p.m

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