21st Festival Films


© Kerstin Stelter for enigma film
© Kerstin Stelter for enigma film

Fri. Feb. 3, 2017 12:15 PM
Castro Theatre, San Francisco
U.S. West Coast Premiere
In Person: Producer Fritjof Hohagen
124 mins. Germany, Austria (2016). BD Projection. German w/ English subtitles.
Director: Andreas Gruber
Starring: Hannelore Elsner, Nike Seitz, Franziska Weisz, Rainer Egger, Elfriede Irrall
Screenplay: Andreas Gruber based on a novel by Elisabeth Escher
Cinematography: Martin Gressmann
Editor: Julia Drack
Producers: Fritjof Hohagen, Andreas Gruber
World Sales: Picture Tree International, Berlin

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Runner-up winner of the 2016-2017 Youth 4 German Cinema Award, presided by a special jury of young people from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
There‘s a very good reason why you should let sleeping dogs lie, as nine-year-old Johanna discovers. Growing up a good Catholic girl in the provincial Austrian town of Wels in the late 1960s, she learns from her grandmother her family‘s secret: they are Jewish. Life now starts to change, uncomfortably so: the caretaker bullies her, the religion teacher ignores her and her traumatized mother stops talking to people. Both older women know exactly who were the very worst Nazis back then. After the war they reinvented themselves as devout Catholics. Johanna, however, is determined not to hide, she wants to be proud of her heritage and now becomes Hanna. But the "sleeping dogs" are awake, they are starting to bark and they still have their teeth. Hanna's Sleeping Dogs is based on the novel "Schlafende Hunde" by Elisabeth Escher, in which she recounts her true life experience. Writer-director Andreas Gruber grew up with her in Wels in the 1960s and is thus also personally familiar with the story‘s milieu.

Presented with the support of:

Community Outreach Partner: Jewish Film Institute