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Brother of Sleep
(Schafles Bruder)
Germany - 1995
Directed by Joseph Vilsmaier


Filmed on location in the Austrian Alps and the Czech Republic, Brother of Sleep is a beautiful film with a mystical quality unlike any other.  Set around 1800, the film centers around Johannes Elias Alder, the illegitimate son of a priest who is born with supernatural hearing and musical ability.  The local populace are intimidated by his strange gifts and attribute his powers to Satan.  Elias falls in love with the lovely Elsbeth, sister of his only friend, Peter.

When Elias comes to understand that he cannot marry Elsbeth, as she is engaged to another and that his friend Peter has romantic love for him, he decides to deprive himself of sleep, promising himself to never sleep again. 

An enormous technical crew paid great attention to historical accuracy in terms of costumes and sets (always appreciated).  Beautiful cinematography and location footage make this a film that commands your attention.  For Brother of Sleep, Joseph Vilsmaier won the Bavarian Film Award for Best Production (1996), and a Film Strip in Silver Award from the German Film Awards for Shaping of a Feature Film (1996).   Regina Fritsch won the Fernando Rey Award from the San Sebastian International Film Festival for her role as Hebamme, the midwife (1995).

Runtime:  127 Minutes

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