LONDON — France’s ARP Selection and Switzerland’s LookNow! Filmdistribution have acquired local distribution rights to Lars Kraume’s Nazi-hunter drama “The People vs. Fritz Bauer,” which world premieres at the Locarno Film Festival in the Piazza Grande next week.
Munich-based sales agent Beta Cinema is handling world sales on the film, which is the true story of the man who brought high-ranking Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann to justice. Further deals are in final negotiations. Alamode will release the movie in Germany on Oct. 1.
The film starts in West Germany in 1957. Attorney general Fritz Bauer receives evidence about the whereabouts of Eichmann. The SS lieutenant colonel, responsible for the mass deportation of the Jews, is allegedly hiding in Buenos Aires. Bauer, himself Jewish, has been trying to take crimes from the Third Reich to court ever since his return from exile in Denmark, but without success due to the fierce German determination to repress its past. Because of his distrust in the German justice system, Bauer contacts the Israeli secret service Mossad, and, in doing so, commits treason.
The role of Bauer is played by Burghart Klaussner (“The White Ribbon,” “13 Minutes”). Starring alongside him are Ronald Zehrfeld (“Barbara,” “Phoenix”) as young and ambitious attorney Karl Angermann, and Sebastian Blomberg (“The Baader Meinhof-Complex”) as their opponent, prosecutor Kreidler.
“We feel ‘The People vs. Fritz Bauer’ is a must-see for international audiences as it addresses an untold and gripping aspect of the hunt for Adolf Eichmann, just as much as it grants us insights into the German society of those days,” said Beta Cinema’s Thorsten Ritter.
“But most importantly, it puts the courageous, veteran Jewish attorney general Fritz Bauer right in the center of the story evidencing that heroism defies age. And under Lars Kraume’s assured direction Burghart Klaussner and Ronald Zehrfeld top it off with unforgettable performances.”
The film was produced by Thomas Kufus’ Zero One film in co-production with Terz Film, WDR, HR and ARTE.
Beta had great success with the post-war feature “Labyrinth of Lies,” which garnered almost 350,000 admissions in France and is set for a U.S. release in September.