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(Five Last Days), 1982

"I will never be able to think of these events without being horrified."

- Percy Adlon

A film by Percy Adlon

Irm Herrmann  •  Lena Stolze  •  Joachim Bernhard

Ossi Eckmuller, Hans Stadlbauer, Gert Burkard, Michael Cornelius, Philip Arp, Hans Hirschmueller, Will Spindler


Death and the Maiden  by Franz Schubert,

performed by the Bartholdy-Quartett

Screenplay by Percy Adlon

Produced by Eleonore Adlon

Produced for television by Heinz Bühmler

Director of Photography – Horst Lermer

Production Design – Heidi Luedi

Editor – Clara Fabry

A pelemele Film production with BR

On February 22, 1943, 21-year-old student Sophie Scholl was executed by guillotine for her involvement in the anti-Nazi resistance movement. The last five days of her life are seen here from the perspective of her cellmate, Else Gebel, whose relatives Percy Adlon contacted for help piecing together his witness: a complex, indomitable woman 20 years Sophie’s senior. Through Gebel's articulate, even literary, recollections, the film exposes a picture of 1943 Germany only rarely considered. Here, the Gestapo are no personification of Evil–they are simply minor Bavarian civil servants doing their day-to-day administrative duties. Far from excusing them, Adlon highlights the horror of the Nazi regime by revealing how evil quickly becomes banal, so that “upright, middle-class virtues” can be used to justify the execution of a young girl, whose only crime was her desire for an end to war. Although necessarily somber, the film's tone ultimately allows for notes of triumph: Scholl has the strength to remain true to her commitment in the face of death, and Gebel rises above the deadening mediocrity of the prison officialdom, to give voice to higher ideals.

Premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, September 1982

Silver German Film Award for the producers

Gold German Film Awards for Lena Stolze and Irm Herrmann

Bavarian Film Award for director Percy Adlon, 1983

OCIC Prize, Venice, 1982

Shot on 16mm Agfa in Munich (Bühler-Palais, Briennerstrasse), February-March, 1982

German, 112 min

Subtitle options: English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

Escape Routes of a Peace-Loving Man by Percy Adlon HD
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Leonhard Frank

LEONHARD FRANK: Fluchtwege eines Friedliebenden Mannes

(Leonhard Frank: Escape of a Peace-Loving Man), 1982

A film by Percy Adlon

Screenplay by Percy Adlon

Produced by Eleonore Adlon

Produced for television by Benigna von Keyserlingk

Director of Photography – Jürgen Martin

Editor – Clara Fabry

Music by Wilfried Hiller

A production of pelemele FILM GmbH

Commissioned by Bayerischer Rundfunk

June, 1940.


We never see the 57-year-old man as he escapes from a concentration camp in Northern Bretagne and flees, 18 days on foot and another 10 days by bicycle, 1,700 km through Nazi-occupied France. Instead, we look out through his eyes, breathe with him, fear with him, feel the racing of his heart. Leonhard Frank's novels, his world famous play “Karl and Anna,” were among the books burned in Nazi bonfires for being "degenerate". Now, he is on the run from the fanatics of an extremist ideology, and the destruction of everything he believes in.

Appalled by the plight of his many Jewish friends, Frank left Germany, but was caught in France. Now, without a visa or passport, the only goal is to catch a ship from Lisbon, to the United States. The only property he still owns are the hundred pages of a new manuscript sewn in his short raincoat, titled “Links wo das Herz ist”, Left Where The Heart Is, on which this docudrama of his escape is based.

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