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Germany, 1945. World War II is nearing its climactic end. Five-year-old Sophie and her parents are refugees fleeing from the advancing Red Army. They hide in a hotel, where they encounter Nazi officer Scharf and Hitler Youth member Beckmann. As the Russians come closer, Sophie falls into a lift and is knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, Scharf accidentally kills Sophie’s mother and Wassily, a paratrooper, kills her father. Time passes and teenage Sophie works for Soviet soldiers as a kitchen maid in the hotel. Food sometimes disappears, but Sophie finds the culprit: Beckmann, who has been hiding in a corridor beneath the hotel since the war ended. As an adult, Sophie reluctantly marries Wassily and develops a relationship with Beckmann. Decades go by; the Russians leave and Scharf takes over the hotel. Sophie convinces Beckmann to leave, and the pair head for the North Sea, turning their backs on the hotel and its memories.
About the Director
Heinrich Sabl grew up in the former East Germany in the 1960s, in a small industrial town close to the Polish border, where he escaped the strictures of the world by immersing himself in the world of theatre. He settled in East Berlin during the mid-80s and started directing animated short films, which were screened in key film festivals including the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, winning several significant film and animation awards. Most of his films have been broadcast on German television and on ARTE. Currently, Sabl is considered one of the best stop-motion animation directors.
- Heinrich Sabl
- Heinrich Sabl
- Philippe Bober, Heinrich Sabl
- Production Company
- Coproduction Office
- Puppets animation shot in stop motion