German Drama ‘Chess Story’ Headed to DVD and Digital April 11 From Film Movement

German Drama ‘Chess Story’ Headed to DVD and Digital April 11 From Film Movement

The German drama Chess Story will be released on DVD and digital April 11 from Film Movement.

Set in Vienna in 1938 as Austria is occupied by the Nazis, the drama follows Dr. Josef Bartok (Oliver Masucci), who is preparing to flee to America when he is arrested by the Gestapo. As a former notary to the deposed Austrian aristocracy, he is instructed to hand over access to their private bank accounts. Refusing to cooperate, Bartok is locked in solitary confinement by the local secret police operative Böhm (Albrecht Schuch). Just as his mind is beginning to crack, he happens upon a book of famous chess matches. To withstand the torture of isolation, Bartok disappears into the world of chess, maintaining his fragile sanity only by memorizing every move.

Adapted with opulent attention to period detail by filmmaker and opera director Philipp Stölzl, Chess Story brings Stefan Zweig’s final novella to life with an ensemble cast featuring Masucci (When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Never Look Away, Look Who’s Back), Schuch (Berlin Alexanderplatz, System Crasher, “Bad Banks”), Birgit Minichmayr (3 Days in Quiberon, The Goldfish, Everyone Else) and Rolf Lassgård (A Man Called Ove). 

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Special features include an introductory essay by writer and curator Larry List and a bonus German short film, Der Tunnel (directed by Christoph Daniel and Marc Schmidheiny), which follows a student on a train who finds himself in an existential dilemma when the tunnel he is traveling through never seems to end.


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