Films: Young Goethe in Love

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Young Goethe in Love  {Goethe!}

Young Goethe in Love

Germany, 2010, 100 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biographical, Coming of Age, Drama, Historical/Period, Literary, Romance
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: German English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Philipp Stölzl
Producer: Peter Hartwig (exec), Matthias Triebel (exec), Christoph Müller, Helge Sasse
Editor: Sven Budelmann
Screenwriter: Philipp Stölzl, Christoph Müller, Alexander Dydyna
Cinematographer: Kolja Brandt
Principal Cast: Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Moritz Bleibtreu, Volker Bruch, Burghart Klaußner

“It’s more than truth. It’s poetry,” explains the romantic heroine of The Sorrows of Young Werther. The same can be said of Philipp Stölzl’s Young Goethe in Love, a sumptuous period romance about the early experiences that led Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to write the epistolary novel that made him a worldwide literary celebrity.

Upon failing his doctoral defense, Goethe is forced by his father into an apprenticeship for the court in Wetzlar. Although he excels at the practice of law, his only real interest lies with Lotte—but their romance is ill-fated, as she is betrothed by arrangement to the powerful Counselor of Justice. Meanwhile, Goethe’s friend and confidant, Wilhelm Jerusalem, is likewise drawn into a sordid love triangle with a married woman—and the seeds of inspiration for the sensation that would become The Sorrows of Young Werther begin to sprout.

For all the sturm und drang, director Stölzl treats his morose subject with a charmingly lighthearted touch. From the set design to the costumes, 18th-century German society comes to life; while the delightful Alexander Fehling, as Goethe, brims with a naive passion that will awaken nostalgic yearnings in all closet romantics.

Sponsored by Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany

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