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PRODUCTION Germany

Stefan Ruzowitzky's Narcissus and Goldmund will hit screens for the New Year in 2020

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- Principal photography on the Oscar-winning Austrian director's adaptation of Hermann Hesse's novel wrapped last month

Stefan Ruzowitzky's Narcissus and Goldmund will hit screens for the New Year in 2020
Sabin Tambrea and Jannis Niewöhner in Narcissus and Goldmund (© Jürgen Olczyk/Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland)

A seasoned Academy Award winner to adapt a Nobel Prize-winning author can only be an interesting recipe: last month, Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky (whom we have to thank for Anatomy and Anatomy 2 as well as All the Queen's Men and The Counterfeiters [+see also:
film review
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]
, crowned with the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film in 2008) finished shooting his latest feature, Narcissus and Goldmund, an adaptation of Hermann Hesse’s novel of the same name (first published in 1930 and translated into more than 40 languages). Principal photography of the film, which lasted just over two months (from mid-August to mid-October), took place in Austria (Hardegg and Waldviertel), Italy (South Tyrol) and the Czech Republic (Prague). 

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The story is set in the dark Middle Ages. Goldmund, an unruly young man sent to a monastery by his father to atone for the sins of his mother after she abandons them, meets Narcissus, a gifted young scholar and introverted novice. The former, as passionate and impulsive as the latter is devoted to prayer and meditation, soon realises that he could never become a monk and runs away to live a picaresque wanderer’s life, full of amorous and artistic adventures which lead him to discover the extremes of both ecstasy and pain. After several years, the two friends meet again... 

Narcissus and Goldmund, scripted by the director in conjunction with Robert Gold, and lensed by Benedict Neuenfels (who has already collaborated with Ruzowitzky and was recently acclaimed for his work on Styx [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Wolfgang Fischer
film profile
]
), gathers together a sizeable cast comprising Sabin Tambrea and Jannis Niewöhner, as well as Jessica SchwarzGeorg Friedrich, Matthias HabichAndré M HennickeSunnyi MellesHenriette ConfuriusElisa SchlottEmilia SchüleUwe Ochsenknecht and Kida Khodr Ramadan.

The film is being produced by German outfits Tempest Film and Mythos Film as well as Lotus-Film in Austria, in co-production with Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion, with the support of the German Film Board (FFA), the Federal Ministry of Culture (BKM), Austrian pubcaster ORF, and various regional and local funds from both countries.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland will release it in Germany on 2 January 2020, and the movie will hit Austrian screens the following day. The international sales of Narcissus and Goldmund are managed by Beta Cinema.

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