Taking Sides

Year of participation 2013
Program Retrospectives

Taking Sides
Producer(s) Yves Pasquier
Director(s) Istvan Szabo
Script Ronald Harwood
Director of Photography Lajos Koltai
Production designer Ken Adam
Music by Beethoven, Brückner, Schubert, Glenn Miller...
Sound Jean Goudier
Edit Sylvie Landra
Cast Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard, Moritz Bleibtreu, Oleg Tabakov, Ulrich Tukur, Hanns Zischler, August Zirner, Robin Renucci, R. Lee Ermey, Birgit Minichmayr
Production company(-ies) Maecenas Film und Fernseh Briennerstr 9 - 80333 München, Germany


A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwängler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the Nazi era. One of the most spectacular and renowned conductors of the 30s, Furtwängler's reputation rivaled that of Toscanini's. After the war, he was investigated as part of the Allies' de-Nazification programme. In the bombed-out Berlin of the immediate post-war period, the Allies slowly bring law and order - and justice - to bear on an occupied Germany. An American major is given the Furtwängler file, and is told to find everything he can and to prosecute the man ruthlessly. Tough and hard-nosed, Major Steve Arnold sets out to investigate a world of which he knows nothing. Orchestra members vouch for Furtwängler's morality - he did what he could to protect Jewish players from his orchestra. To the Germans, deeply respectful of their musical heritage, Furtwängler was a demigod; to Major Arnold, he is just a lying, weak-willed Nazi.



Best Director, Best Screenplay, Flaiano IFF, Italy, 2002; Special Award, Hungarian Film Critics Awards, Hungary, 2003; Best Director, Best Actor, ADF Cinematography Award, Kodak Award, SIGNIS Award, Mar del Plata IFF, Argentina, 2002; Jury Prize, Valenciennes IF of Action and Adventure Films, France, 2002

Moscow Cinema
 Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation
Festival Coverage