Fabian: Going to the Dogs

Dominik Graf

Germany, 2021 / 176 min / German OV with English subtitles / Drama

Collaboration with the Pierre Werner Institute

German genre dazzler Dominik Graf careens through the twilight hedonism of pre-Nazi Germany in this adaptation of Erich Kästner’s early-1930s-set autobiographical romance. 

Berlin, 1931. Between sublets and the underworld, where brothels are artists’ studios, Nazis are yelling abuse in the streets and Babelsberg is dreaming of producing “psychological cinema”. Life is surging, society is fermenting and corroding. As long as he still has a job, Jakob Fabian, who has a doctorate in German studies, writes advertising copy during the day and frequents the city’s more outlandish establishments with Stephan Labude at night. While his friend – who later confesses to having failed “in the subjects of life and profession” – is a go-getter when it comes to communism and sex, Fabian remains sober and distant. Without really believing in it, he is waiting for the “victory of decency”. His love for Cornelia is the only thing that makes him question his ironic fatalism. She becomes a ray of hope in his crumbling existence. 




Sun 06/03 14:30 Ciné Utopia DE OV with FR subt. Public

“Graf’s Weimar Republic drama boldly straddles the realms of costume realism and experiment” Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily, 01/03/2021

“The prolific German genre master adapts Erich Kästner's iconic Weimar-era novel into a vigorous, expansive romance of the times.” Danial Kasman, Mubi Notebook, 02/03/2021

“(...) fascinating aesthetically” / “An unpredictable visual experience, bracingly experimental for a 68-year-old filmmaker who hasn’t run out of gas.” Ryan Lattanzio, IndieWire, 01/03/2021

“An ambitious remounting of Kastner’s text” Nicholas Bell,, 02/03/2021

  • Nominee, Golden Bear, Berlinale (2021)
  • Outstanding Feature Film, German Film Award
  • Winner Best Cinematography, German Film Award
  • Winner Best Production Design, German Film Award
Cast & Credits
Tom Schilling, Saskia Rosendahl, Albrecht Schuch, Meret Becker, Michael Wittenborn, Petra Kalkutschke, Elmar Gutmann, Aljoscha Stadelmann, Anne Bennent, Eva Medusa Gühne
Constantin Lieb, Dominik Graf
Hanno Lentz
Claudia Wolscht
Martin Witte, Michael Stecher, Florian Neunhoeffer, Martina Bahr
Lupa Film
Les Films du Losange

Born in Munich, Germany in 1952, Dominik Graf studied at the city’s University of Film and Television from 1974 to 1980. In the course of his career as a director and writer he has won many prizes including the German Film Award, the Bavarian Film and Television award, the German Television Award and numerous Grimme Awards. His best-known works include the films The Cat , Die Sieger, Hotte im Paradies and Die geliebten Schwestern; the series Der Fahnder and Im Angesicht des Verbrechens, and several episodes of “Polizeiruf 110” and “Tatort”. In 2010, he published a book of essays on film.

  • 2021 Fabian oder Der Gang vor die Hunde (Fabian – Going to the Dogs)
  • 2019 Polizeiruf 110: Die Lüge, die wir Zukunft nennen (film TV / TV movie / TV-Film)
  • 2015 Zielfahnder – Flucht in die Karpate
  • 2014 Die geliebten Schwestern
  • 2006 Twilight Eternal (film TV / TV movie / TV-Film)
  • 2004 Cold Spring (film TV / TV movie / TV-Film)
  • 2002 Hotte im Paradies
  • 2000 München – Geheimnisse einer Stadt
  • 1994 The Invincibles
  • 1990 Spieler
  • 1987 The Cat
  • 1982 Das zweite Gesicht