Opening March 12, 2020
Directed by: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Writing credits: Stefan Ruzowitzky, Robert Gold
Principal actors: Jannis Niewöhner, Sabin Tambrea, André Hennicke, Henriette Confurius, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Emilia Schüle
Narziss und Goldmund is the film adaptation of literature Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse‘s 1930 bestseller of the same name. The story of the deeply pious and studious Narcissus and the turbulent and fun-loving Goldmund takes place in the Mariabronn monastery in medieval Germany. The young Goldmund (Jannis Niewöhner) is sent to the monastery by his father as Narzissus (Sabin Tambrea) is asked by Meister Niklaus (Uwe Ochsenknecht) to take Goldmund under his wing and to teach him the strict rules in the monastery. A true and ambiguous friendship develops between the two until Goldmund decides to leave the monastery in search of his mother. Narcissus decides to devote himself to the ascetic monastic life while Goldmund, in a journey full of adventures gets to try the bittersweet tastes of freedom, love and sex. Years later, Narcissus and Goldmund meet again.
The choice of actors to interpret these two opposite destinies is a tribute to Hermann Hesse’s quest for beauty and his aspiration to reconcile spirituality and lust, intellect and craftsmanship, austerity and fun. Taking on the challenge to adapt one of Hesse’s novels of initiation, Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky succeeds quite remarkably, demonstrating the invincible forces of faith and love. (Brigitte B-R.)