Never Look Away
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Oscar winner for The Lives of Others) takes a vast view of German history, over three eras, in this remarkable love story inspired by the life of revered artist Gerhard Richter. The film follows Kurt from his childhood in Nazi Germany, to his life as a young artist (now played by Tom Schilling, Oh Boy, SFF 2013) trained to capture the bravery of the working class of East Germany, to someone struggling to find his particular artistic vision when he enjoys freedom of expression in West Germany. At the story's centre is a beautiful and tragic love story, beginning when Kurt falls in love with fellow student Ellie (Paula Beer, Transit, SFF 2018; Frantz). Though very much in love, Ellie's father Professor Seeband (Sebastian Koch, The Lives of Others) objects to the relationship and is determined to bring it to an end. With two of Germany's finest young actors, and an incredibly dramatic story, Donnersmarck carefully intertwines the romance with three key eras of German history in a fascinating way. At the same time, we witness how this love, and this history, affect Kurt as an artist who finally finds his own true path.
Enrich your film experience with In Frame, a short and engaging critique of Never Look Away produced by The University of Sydney.
An earlier version of this page listed Florian Henckel von Donnersmark as a festival guest. Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances, Florian will not be attending the festival.