80.000 Schnitzels

a film by  Hannah Schweier

80.000 Schnitzels

2020 | 105:00 min

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Battering, breading, frying – Berta has prepared thousands of schnitzels in her old cast-iron pan over the years. This 83-year-old landlady’s life on the family farm with adjoining guest house in the Upper Palatinate has been marked by constant hard work. A life that her granddaughters Monika and Hannah never wanted to lead. Now, the deeply indebted farm is on the brink of collapse. Despite having an academic background and contrary to her intentions, Monika, in her early thirties, decides to give up her modern life and save the family business. The two women join forces and give themselves a year to sort out the farm’s problems. The director Hannah Schweier accompanies their endeavour, as Berta and Monika are also the filmmaker’s grandmother and sister, respectively. Schweier both tells the story and allows it to unfold while sensitively capturing the arduous everyday life on the farm. She uses her own family history as an opportunity to reflect on dreams, on getting older and letting go. A remarkably intimate and melancholic view of life. (ZFF)

Grandma Berta’s beloved “Zollhaus” is on the verge of ruin. She has dedicated her whole life to this inn and farm. Now her granddaughter Monika, the filmmaker’s sister, is to take over the heavily indebted family farm in the Upper Palatinate. What makes Monika decide to give up her previous plans and move to the countryside to live with her grandmother? The director decides to follow her sister for one year during this apparent labour of Sisyphus.
Monika puts all her energy into the ailing farm and is constantly confronted with its history: Grandma Berta’s schnitzel was legendary. But only the jukebox is left of the merry evenings in a packed inn. Berta had to bury her husband, two of her sons and a grandson. She is not a woman of tender words and unsparingly direct, which soon leads to conflict. The director at first watches her indefatigable sister in stunned disbelief. But gradually she understands that Monika has found a new dream in the “Zollhaus”. This enables her to offer an intimate insight into the chronicle of a family. The film confronts us with the universal question when it is the right time to live one’s dreams and how quickly this time may pass. (DOK Leipzig, Annina Wettstein)
Critics Choice Award – 16 Zurich Film Festival (world premiere)
ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness — 63 DOK Leipzig

CROSSING EUROPE Filmfestival Linz
Best Documentary – Bardolino Film Festival
Cast and Crew
  • Director  Hannah Schweier
  • Producer Stefan Sporbert, Rüdiger Heinze
  • Director of Photography Stefanie Reinhard
  • Protagonist Monika Schweier, Berta Zenefels
  • Editor Julian Cropp (Dialog), Romy Steyer
  • Sound Markus Egloff
  • Sound Design Johannes Kunz
  • Score Ella Zwietnig
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