THE DESERTER

Original Title: Der Deserteur
Year:
2024
Duration: 93 min.
Country: Germany

Director: Christoph Baumann
Script: Christiane Heckes, Christoph Baumann (Idea), Sebastian Fischer (Idea)
Cast: Sebastian Fischer, Anna Kaminski, Sandro Kirtzel, Nora C. Pichler, Lana-Mae Lopičić, Tom Kreß

Synopsis:

May 1945: The end of the War in the Tyrolean Alps. The injured SS soldier Anton has deserted. On the run he discovers a remote mountain alp. Hannah, a Jewish woman, is hiding here. She tends to his wounds. There is great mistrust between the two but together they cope with the harsh everyday life. They are looked after by 16-year-old peasant girl Charlotte. At night, they hear fighting between the German troops and Italian partisans. Over time, a cautious familiarity develops between Anton and Hannah – he, who has done and seen terrible things, she, who has lost her family and been struggling with fear and loneliness up here in the mountains. They grow closer. Hannah finds out that Anton was no ordinary soldier. He was part of the SS, a man of conviction. Brutal truths come to light. The war is as good as over, but what kind of future awaits them? Georg turns up: He‘s been looking for Anton, hunting him down. He was the one who shot Anton – his best friend. Georg is fighting a battle that has long been hopeless, driven by hatred and the will to destroy everything and everyone in his path.

The Deserter is a story about war and guilt, but also about compassion and humanity.

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Cast
Sebastian Fischer, Anna Kaminski, Sandro Hitzel, Nora C. Pichler, Lana-Mae Lopičić, Tom Kreß

Animation/Postproduction/VFX
VFX Producer: Christian Baum
Colourist: Christian Baum

Screenplay
Screenwriter: Christiane Heckes
Idea: Sebastian Fischer, Christoph Baumann

Cinematography
DoP: Christian ‘Spanier’ Weischer
2nd Unit Camera: Salomé Lou Römer
1st Camera Assistant: Matthias John
2nd Camera Assistant: Marinus Beitinger

Costume
Costume Consultant: Christine Ruff
Costume Consultant: Thomas Seip
Costume Consultant: Anselmo Antonello di Meo

Light
Lighting Designer: Matthias Schöning
Lighting Designer: Salomé Lou Römer
Grip: Tom Beyer

Make-up
Head Make-up Artist: Jana Erger
SFX Make-up Artist: Jana Erger

Music
Composer: Elias Mierbeth

Production
Producers: Julia Jückstock, Christoph Baumann
Executive Producers: Sebastian Fischer, Christian ‘Spanier’ Weischer
Producers Assistant: Jana Bäuerle
Production Manager: Florian Knobloch
Set Runner: Tom Beyer

Director: Christoph Baumann
1st Directors Assistant: Jana Bäuerle

Editing
Editor: Christoph Baumann
VFX Editors: Jonas Vogl, Thomas Kempf, Daniel Grohotolski

Sound Postproduction
Manager Sound: Tim Höfer
Sound Designer: Tim Höfer

Production Company: CHR Filmproduktion
Distribution Company: Marilu Pictures

Shooting Dates: July – October 2022 (18 shooting days)
Budget: 400,000 EUR
Locations: Bavaria-Germany, Austria
Postproduction: 2023-2024
Completion Date: 20.1.2024
Screen Ratio: Widescreen USA (1:1,85)
Shooting Camera: Blackmagic RW (BRAW) 4K
Formats Available: DCP
Sound: dts (5.1, 6 channels)

CHRISTOPH BAUMANN (director, producer, writer)

Christoph Baumann founded CHRFilmproduktion in 2000 and works as a director and producer in the film and television sector.

Among other things, he was commissioned by bummfilm GmbH to direct several episodes of the children’s show “Tolle Sachen” and was behind the camera for more than sixty episodes of Tommy Krappweis’ comedy show “Join the Club”, where he was also responsible for the production of the clips as executive producer. In 2003 he played the leading role in the short film “Linie X”, as well as in the international cinema productions “The Dark Side of Our Inner Space” and “The truth of Lie”.

Since 2000, he has realized numerous advertising and image productions, his commissions have included clips for the German televsion such as ZDF, Pro7 and BAVARIA FILMSTUDIOS as well as advertising commissions for the AUDI FORUM and PLANET HOLLYWOOD.

His short film “Tödlicher Zweifel” (Fatal Doubt), completed in 2008, was honored with the Remi Award at the 42nd WorldFest Houston. “Amok”, completed in 2011, was awarded the “Prädikat Wertvoll” of the Filmbewertungsstelle Wiesbaden, the “Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Kurzfilmpreis2012” and the “Best Short Film 2011” of the on3 Kinonacht.

Director’s Statement by Christoph Baumann “The Deserter”

I have been intensively involved with the subject of National Socialism for years – in particular with the question of why? How can it be that educated people are capable of such atrocities? And how is it possible that these same people can justify these atrocities to themselves?

At the beginning of 2020, the idea for a feature film on this topic took shape: Two people, locked up in an hostile environment. Both have to get involved with each other in order to survive. An almost impossible task when a deserted SS soldier and a Jewish woman meet. The last days of the war in May 1945 become a deadly threat in the rugged Tyrolean mountains. On one side, disintegrating Wehrmacht units – on the other, the advancing Allies. This particular constellation aroused my interest. It raises questions – questions about guilt and atonement, remorse and forgiveness. Also the question of whether someone like Anton can be forgiven at all?

The film was shot in the fall of 2022 in a 16th century mountain hut in the Rauris Alps with a team of 12 people. Most of them were friends and colleagues with whom I have worked for years and who have accompanied and supported the project from the very beginning. So the film and its realization became a project close to the hearts of everyone involved.

THE DESERTER is a film about war that emphasizes the importance of humanity in merciless times.