(aka 'Abschied - Brechts letzter Sommer' or 'Abschied' or 'Buckower Elegien' or 'The Farewell')

directed by Jan Schütte
Germany / Poland 2000

 

  Playwright, poet and theatrical producer, Bertolt Brecht maintained no fewer than three mistresses at any one time throughout his adult life. The Farewell takes place in a single day, in the late summer of 1956, as Brecht prepares to leave his lakeside home and return to Berlin for the fall theater season. His curious ménage includes his protective wife, pyromaniac daughter, former mistress, and current young favorite as well as Wolfgang Harich - a political reformer who knowingly shares his wife with Brecht. Surrounded by the women who form his extended family, he is the center of a quiet storm. Nostalgia and hope, jealousy and tenderness, betrayal and trust all vie with one another during the final act of his life.

Amidst skinny-dipping, backbiting, and favor-currying, a sinister plot unfolds: the Stasi secret police, lurking outside Brechtıs ivory tower, plan to arrest the Hariches before the end of the day.

THE FAREWELL mixes bitter comedy with muted tragedy, petty tiffs with looming historical change, creating an incisive portrait of a seminal modern dramatist.

Gary W. Tooze

Poster

Theatrical Release: September 8th, 2000 - Toronto Film Festival

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DVD Review: New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution New Yorker Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:28:42 
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio German (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: New Yorker Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Biographies
• Photo Galllery
• Liner notes essay by Gitta Honegger

DVD Release Date: July 19th, 2005

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Chapters: 16

 

 

Comments:

Admittedly the transfer is a little soft and as per standard with New Yorker it is non-progressive. Aside from those encumbrances the image quality is about what I expected. There appears to be a dull greenish haze over some of the image. The optional subtitles are very good and the original German track is clear and audible. Overall this is a very good film with some political nudging in it. I'm sure this looked a little cleaner theatrically but have my doubts as to if anyone but New Yorker will put it out digitally (with English subtitles). Unless you caught it at one of the Festivals, this may be your only hope and it is definitely worth viewing.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Combing results from non-progressive transfers
 

 

 

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Distribution New Yorker Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!

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