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The German Lesson
New German Cinema

The German Lesson


In post-WWII Germany, Siggi Jepsen (Tom Gronau) is imprisoned in juvenile detention and tasked with writing an essay on the subject of “duty”. He suffers from writer’s block and the paper remains blank. Put in solitary confinement, and alone with himself and his feelings, he finds the clarity to recall the memories of his childhood during the war.

Eleven-year-old Siggi (Levi Eisenblätter) is a boy growing up during the war in a small village on the north German coast. His strict father, Jens (Ulrich Noethen) is the local policeman who has been instructed to enforce a work ban placed on family friend Max Nansen (Tobias Moretti, also in The House), an expressionist painter who steadfastly opposes the Nazi regime. Caught between assimilation and resistance, Siggi rebels against his father and decides to help Nansen and hide some of his works – with fatal consequences for everyone involved.

A compelling drama, based on the bestselling German post-war novel by acclaimed author Siegfried Lenz, The German Lesson is an atmospheric adaptation from director Christian Schwochow (The Crown).

Australian Premiere
18+ (exemption)
Christian Schwochow
Ulrich Noethen, Tobias Moretti, Levi Eisenblätter, Tom Gronau
2019 | 125 min | Germany | Drama | German with English subtitles
Prestige piece of filmmaking.
Best Cinematography, Bavarian Film Awards 2020
Best Film Adaptation, Film by the Sea International Film Festival 2020
Best Film Score, Best Cinematography, German Film Awards 2020
Zurich Film Festival 2019