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The Turncoat

Title: The Turncoat
Original title: Der Überläufer
Format: 4 hours, HD
Starring: Jannis Niewöhner (4 KINGS)
Malgorzata Mikolajczak
Sebastian Urzendowsky (THE TOWER, BORGIA)
Bjarne Mädel
Directed by: Florian Gallenberger (JOHN RABE, COLONIA)
Produced by: Dreamtool Entertainment for NDR, ARD Degeto and SWR
Part 1 
Part 2 

The Turncoat

Event series in tradition of GENERATION WAR. Based on the bestseller by Siegfried Lenz.
Directed by Academy Award Winner Florian Gallenberger.

Summer 1944: Fighting a war that is already lost, Walter, a young German soldier, is en route to the Eastern Front when his train is blown up by a landmine. Luckily, he survives and is instead posted to a small unit in the Polish woods, surrounded by partisans. Ordered by his sadistic commander to perform deeds of brutality, he is soon torn between a sense of duty, guilt and his conscience, not made any easier by his love for the Polish partisan Wanda, who is expecting his child. Sworn to uphold his military vows, he is yet disgusted by the escalating cruelty and, like many of his compatriots, no longer knows why, who, or what he's fighting for. Escaping death when his unit is wiped out and faced by this moral dilemma, he ultimately defects, and, by January 1945, is part of the Red Army – sure that he is finally fighting for the right cause. Yet in the aftermath of war, in Berlin's Soviet Zone, he has his doubts as he realizes that neither he nor the country can shed the burdens of the past. Once again, as his fate hangs in the balance, he is forced to make a moral decision, defecting yet again – this time, to the West.

Press Quotes

“Got what it takes to become an anti-war classic: powerful!”

“Jannis Niewöhner plays, in one of his best roles, someone who seeks and feels, someone who is trapped by his brutal life circumstances.”
(German Public Radio RBB/ARD)

“‘Apocalypse Now' on the Eastern Front”

“…Florian Gallenberger has created a great TV movie” ***** 5 Stars

“Haunting, yet without painting a black-and-white image, director Florian Gallenberger (‘John Rabe') shows how war wreaks havoc even on those who try to remain decent.”
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