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Austerlitz – The Film

austerlitz film

A film adaptation of W.G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz premiered on the opening night at the Centre Pompidou’s Cinéma du Reél festival earlier this week. Directed by the Czech-born French director Stan Neumann and starring Denis Lavant as Jacques Austerlitz, the 90-minute film is described as “not so much a filmed book as it is a film about a book, breaking down the walls that divide documentary and fiction, just as Sebald blurred the lines between the two in his writing.”  A 2:44 excerpt from the film can be viewed at the website of the Fondation de la Mémoire de la Shoah. (Be prepared to endure an annoying 30-second advertisement. Why would a foundation website link to advertising anyway?)

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Some blatant miscast, if you ask me.

    March 21, 2015
  2. Kostka Ander #

    Why? Have you seen the film? Do you mean that he should be blond as described ? Are you sure that this is what the book il about?

    March 22, 2015
  3. The film is going to be screen on Arte, at 22:35 Paris time, on Tuesday, November 17. It can be viewed en direct (by those in France or Germany, or via vpn).

    November 16, 2015
    • Update: the film is available for viewing on Arte for the next seven days:
      Having just watched it en direct, I feel compensated for having missed Festival du Cinéma du réel. It’s a beautiful meditation on memory, fiction, and images. I will be no doubt returning to it over the next week to take it all in at my own pace.

      November 17, 2015
      • Unfortunately, the video is not available to be seen in the US. I receive an error message. “C’est video n’est pas disponible dan votre pays.”

        November 17, 2015
  4. Similarly for UK, Terry; same message; is it available anywhere else?

    November 18, 2015
    • As far as I can tell, the showing of “Austerlitz” is very limited. We in the US cannot even access it online, although it can apparently be seen in France for the next six or seven days on arte.

      November 18, 2015
  5. Good news: for those speaking German, the German version of the film has been uploaded to youtube ( The only downside: it’s not subtitles, but a voice reading over the original French narration. I have to admit, I’ve become mildly obsessed with this film, and have watched it several times this week.

    November 22, 2015
  6. Unfortunately the german version (made by german Arte) is quite bad. There is a very good version with english subtitles, used mainly for festivals. But if you contact the producer Les Films d’Ici in Paris maybe you can get a DVD. (the film has not been released on commercial DVD yet).

    November 28, 2015

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