Fog in August
German Film Week 2017

Fog in August © Studio Canal/Bern Spauke

„… (it) stirs the deepest of emotions in an intense and heart-breaking narrative.“ Movie Review World.

Director Kai Wessel returns to a dark period in the last century for the first feature film to address one of the greatest taboos of German history – the Nazis' euthanasia program during the Third Reich. Based on Robert Domes' 2008 historical novel, Fog in August enters on the fate of 13-year-old Ernst Lossa who is committed to a mental hospital in 1942 because of his origins in a family of travelers. He soon discovers the truth behind the hospital's façade and sabotages its euthanasia program to help his new-found friends, but his actions have not gone unnoticed...

Source: German Films Service & Marketing GmbH


Philbert Dy

Fog in August tells the true story of Ernst Lossa (Ivo Pietzcker), a fourteen-year-old Roma boy sent to a mental facility for mainly for being unruly. The film sketches out his life at the facility, which mainly involves dealing with the doctor who heads it up, and the nuns that help out. And then, young Ernst notices that his friends are gradually disappearing. The true purpose of the facility dawns on him, and he tries to sabotage the program.
The banality of evil has been a major theme in any discussion of the sad history of the Holocaust. It is the true horror of that particular tragedy: the people involved in many of these terrible events weren’t murderous psychopaths. They just saw themselves as good citizens doing their jobs, able to suppress their moral conscience in the name of maintaining their place in the status quo. Fog in August goes deep into that, exploring through the characters that run the facility the casual execution of horrific acts. Those familiar with the history will recognize the setting as one of Nazi Germany’s euthanasia centers, one of the most terrible manifestations of the society’s extreme Darwinist philosophy.
It’s a slice of the Holocaust that hasn’t really gotten as much attention as it really deserves in all the media that has covered the tragedy. The movie is stoic and pretty restrained, letting the horror reveal itself slowly in the undeniable humanity of its characters. Having said that, it does at times feel like the movie is really going deep enough into things, settling instead for a kind of stolid, arthouse detachment that keeps things cold and distant. But the plain facts of this movie remain essential, making it something worth seeking out.