Programme

THE SILENT REVOLUTION (DAS SCHWEIGENDE KLASSENZIMMER)

Lars Kraume

Germany, 2018 / 111 min / German OV (DE OV) / drama

An East German school class take a small stand against oppression in the middle of the Cold War.

1956. During a visit to a cinema in West Berlin, East German high school pupils Theo and Kurt see disturbing newsreel footage of the uprising in Budapest. Back in their hometown of Stalinstadt, they decide to hold a minute’s silence in class for the victims of the Hungarian struggle for freedom. Neither the boys, nor their parents, nor the school’s administration are prepared for the minor and major reactions that their expression of solidarity unleashes. The school principal tries to dismiss the incident as juvenile mischief and deal with it internally, but the pupils find themselves snared in the political machinery of a state determined to make an example of them. Condemning their act as counter-revolutionary, the education minister demands that the pupils name their ringleader. They are faced with a decision that has dramatic consequences for their future.

The Silent Revolution retells a moving chapter of Cold War history, based on Dietrich Garstka’s eponymous book in which the author recounts his own personal experiences and those of his 18 classmates who wanted to make a humane gesture in dark times that set an entire state against them.

 

“The differences between 1950s East and West Germany and between post-war Germany and the recent Nazi past all surface organically, with the writer-director impressively avoiding any kind of preachiness.” Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, 20/02/2018

“The brilliantly nuanced analysis provided by the director of The People vs. Fritz Bauer is about the mechanisms of membership and collective use employed by totalitarian regimes that rely on a complete absence of dissension and perfect alignment (in uniformed rows). At Stalinstadt, where school involves propagandist education accompanied by paramilitary training, it’s difficult to ignore the similarities between the new regime (where the word "friendship" has become a slogan) and the frightful regime which preceded it, used by the communist party as an ambiguous scarecrow. […] The scenes in which something deeply human and serious plays out in total silence, are the most poignant in the film, and necessarily so. Kraume resolutely delivers a film that does exactly what most other films inspired by true facts do not do (somehow flattening history), providing us with an intelligent and finely-tuned reflection with an overwhelming, fundamentally human core that vibrates with all its strength from beginning to end.” Bénédicte Prot, Cineuropa, 21/02/2018

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+14
Awards
  • Bavarian Film Award for Best Young Actor for Jonas Dassler, Bavarian Film Awards, 2018 (Germany)
  • Film and Literature Award, Film by the Sea International Film Festival, 2018 (Netherlands)
  • Special Prize of the Jury, Jameson CineFest – Miskolc International Film Festival, 2018 (Hungary)
  • German Cinema Award for Peace for Best National Director, Munich Film Festival, 2018 (Germany)
Cast & Credits
Cast 
Leonard Scheicher, Tom Gramenz, Lena Klenke, Jonas Dassler, Isaiah Michalski, Ronald Zehrfeld, Carina Wiesen, Max Hopp, Judith Engel, Michael Gwisdek, Florian Lukas, Jördis Triebel, Daniel Krauss, Burghart Klaußner, Götz Schubert
Screenplay 
Lars Kraume, based on the book “ Das schweigende Klassenzimmer. Eine wahre Geschichte über Mut, Zusammenhalt und den Kalten Krieg “ by Dietrich Gartska
Cinematographer 
Jens Harant
Sound 
Stefan Soltau
Set 
Olaf Schiefner
Music 
Christoph M. Kaiser, Julian Maas
Production 
Akzente Film & Fernsehproduktion
Coproduction 
Zero One Film, StudioCanal Film
Distribution 
Arti Film
Biography

Born in Chieri, Italy in 1973, Lars Kraume grew up in Frankfurt in Germany. After working as an assistant to advertising and portrait photographers, he directed his first short film in 1992. In 1994 he started at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin where his graduation film Dunckel (1998) won the Adolf Grimme Award. A writer and director, his work includes episodes of the German TV crime series, Tatort. His films Keine Lieder über Liebe (2005) and Good Morning, Mr. Grothe (2007) screened in the Berlinale’s Panorama section. His political thriller The People vs. Fritz Bauer (2015) won the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2015 and six German Film Awards in 2016, including the award for Best Director, Best Script and Best Film.

Filmography
  • 2018 – Das schweigende Klassenzimmer
  • 2017 – Der König von Berlin
  • 2016 – Terror: Ihr Urteil
  • 2015-2017 – Dengler (3 episodes of the TV series)
  • 2015 – Familienfest
  • 2015 – Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer
  • 2014 – Tatort: Der Hammer
  • 2013 – Tatort: Borowski und der brennende Mann
  • 2013 – Meine Schwestern
  • 2012 – Tatort: Im Namen des Vaters
  • 2011 – Tatort: Der Tote im Nachtzug
  • 2011 – Tatort: Ein bessere Welt
  • 2010 – Die kommenden Tage
  • 2008 – Tatort: Der frühe Abschied
  • 2007 – KDD – Kriminaldauerdienst (4 episodes of the TV series)
  • 2007 – Guten Morgen, Herr Grothe
  • 2005 – Der Elefant
  • 2005 – Keine Lieder über Liebe
  • 2005 – Kismet – Würfel Dein Leben!
  • 2005 – Tatort: Wo ist Max Gravert? (TV series)
  • 2003 – Tatort: Sag nichts
  • 2001 – Viktor Vogel
  • 1998 – Der Mörder meiner Mutter
  • 1998 – Dunckel
  • 1997 – Einsatz Hamburg Süd (2 episodes of the TV series)
  • 1997 – King of the Elephants (short)
  • 1997 – Life Is Too Short to Dance with Ugly Women (short)
  • 1997 – Zahltag (short)
  • 1995 – Bernie (short)
  • 1993 – 3.21 Uhr (short)