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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Lieber Thomas (Dear Thomas)

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Germany 2021
Opening November 11, 2021

Directed by: Andreas Kleinert
Writing credits: Thomas Wendrich
Principal actors: Albrecht Schuch, Jeila Haase, Ioana Iacob, Jörg Schüttauf, Anja Schneider, Joel Basman, Emma Bading, Peter Kremer

 

lieber thomasAlbrecht Schuch plays the role of Thomas Brasch, a real-life author, poet, film, and theater director. He was born of a Jewish family, 1945 in England, and two years later the family moved, after a short stay in Russia, to Eastern Germany. His father Horst (Jörg Schüttauf) worked in East German politics, helping to build the nation. Son Thomas was set for the arts, contrary to the interests of his father. His political views were also contrary to those of his father. He is a long-haired young man, smoking, partying, and finally moving out of the family home. In 1968, he demonstrates on the streets, handing out flyers. The Stasi police arrest him (supposedly after receiving a tip from his own father). He is sentenced to two years and three months in prison but is released half-way through on probation. He begins work in a factory as a cutter. In 1976 he moves to West Berlin and a year later his book Vor den Vätern sterben die Söhne (Sons Die Before Fathers) opens his way to success. Two of his films make it to the Cannes Film Festival. He goes to New York City, where he signs books, while listening to comments such as “the hottest shit since Truman Capote.” He returns to Germany, and continues to stir up controversy, as in “socialism of the finest… working with money from the capitalists.”

Director Andreas Kleinert spotlights a personality who never fit into any certain category. Brasch couldn’t stay in East Germany, and he didn’t want to reside in the West. He says, “I don’t want to die where I am living; but I don’t want to go to the place where I will die.” (Wo ich lebe, da will ich nicht sterben, aber wo ich sterbe, da will ich nicht hin.) Or “I want to stay where I’ve never been.” (Bleiben will ich, wo ich nie gewesen bin.) This black-and-white film features a flashback to Brasch as a young boy (Claudio Magno) in 1955, going to boarding school in a uniform, always the misfit. Throughout the film we meet the various women with whom he had relationships, i.e., Sanda, Catherine, Bettina, and Silvia, to mention a few. At least two children were the results of these relationships. He died November 2001 just 56 years old. After watching this interesting biopic, I recommend researching Thomas Brasch online, where you learn more about him as well as his interesting family. His sister Marion is still living, while his two brothers also died young. Filmed in Germany, Poland, New York City, and Cannes; supported by 31 songs. (.)

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