User Reviews (3)

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  • Mort-3127 December 2003
    Robert Schindel's novel "Gebürtig" includes a highly complex mix of characters all dealing with their past. It is told from different points of view, in different literary styles. It is very difficult to transfer this heterogenous web to the screen. The author and his friend Lukas Stepanik have tried, and as expected, they succeeded in some respects and failed in others.

    On the whole, the film turned out rather confused. Some messages are made very clear, others remain MESSages. The acting is good, even excellent in some cases, and the Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski manages to give a perfect, absolutely transparent and convincing portray of the story's most interesting character, the German journalist Konrad Sachs.

    This film adaptation is not perfect but okay. Read the book first.
  • chrissso11 October 2016
    This is a great setting and subject matter for a film. The perspective is very unique and the story is human and compelling. The problem is that the film has a really confusing screenplay. In all honesty the story ... originally a book ... is just too complex for the screen and this was a big challenge for the Directors.

    But don't let the complexity keep you from watching the film! More so consider watching a second time after you establish who is who and where they came from. This is a film that frames the Holocaust and Vienna very well and it will appeal to those who appreciate WW2 Holocaust genre.

    7 of 10 ... takes a bump for bad screenplay ... could have been magnificent.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Gebürtig" is a German 110-minute movie from 2002 (15 years old now in 2017) written and directed by Robert Schindel and Lukas Stepanik, which also shows you that this is an Austrian production in the German language. It is one of the rare cases where the writer of the original novel, Schindel, not only adapted his story for the screen, but also showed up as one of the two directors in charge of the entire thing. The film recently probably got some more attention again as the lead actor who plays the title character here is Peter Simonischek, also the actor of the title character from "Toni Erdmann". But there's more names here that German film buffs will recognize such as Finzi, Rehberg, Zirner, Harfouch or Olbrychski. So the cast is fairly decent. This makes it even more disappointing that the film turned out so forgettable eventually. It is the story of a Holocaust survivor who is asked to identify a Nazi criminal. The problem is that the man now lives in the United States and leads a life that has nothing to do anymore with his past. So return to the past and relive through the memories in order to have legal justice applied? A tough decision. It is the core of the film really, but it should have been much more in the center. Occasionally, the movie loses itself in forgettable supporting characters portrayed by actors who have much more talent then they are allowed to show us. Or I also did not like the romance parts in here. The description here "beautiful reporter" is also pretty weak because what do her looks have to do with anything. Are they the reason for his decision. Maybe they are the reason for his affections. Anyway, as a whole besides the solid story in the center of it all, the film feels like it lacks focus on more than just a few occasions and I also think it should have been shorter, considerably closer at the 90 minute mark (if not under) than at the 2 hour mark as it actually is. This film was an Austrian submission to the Oscars, but I cannot say I am surprised that it did not only not get the nomination, but even came short as well in terms of making the 9-film shortlist. I am usually interested in the subject, but this movie did almost nothing for me. The bleakness is not necessarily the problem (it is very common in movies about the Holocaust), but the film also did not work as a convincing character study the way I hoped it would. Plus Simonischek, an actor I like, also left me mostly unimpressed, but this also may have to do with the material he had. By now you probably realize that I give this film a thumbs-down and I don't recommend the watch.