Company News

← Back to publications

September 20, 2013

Senator Film to produce Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig

Berlin, 16 September 2013 – British producer Lars Sylvest and Helge Sasse (Senator Film) are planning an adaptation of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig’s unique novel Beware of Pity for the big screen. Danish director Bille August (THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, Oscar® winner for Best Foreign Film: PELLE THE CONQUEROR) will direct, and the screenplay will be written by Greg Latter. The film will be in English, with a German and international cast. Both award-winning filmmakers have worked before on projects together, including GOODBYE BAFANA (2007), and the successful NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON (2013).

The novel was published in 1938 by Fischer Verlag. The literary work of Stefan Zweig, born in Vienna in 1881, is characterised by an exceptional grasp of dramaturgy and is the expression of a human soul doomed to break against life. This is especially true of the novel Beware of Pity.

At the heart of the story is “false” pity: the young lieutenant Anton Hofmiller is delighted by his good luck when he is invited to dine at the castle of the Hungarian aristocrat Kekesfalva. The evening begins pleasantly, yet ends in catastrophe when Anton asks his host’s 17-year old daughter to dance. What he doesn’t know is that Edith is paralysed. Embarrassed, he apologises profusely the next day and, driven by pity, devotes his attention to the girl. She falls head over heels in love with the young soldier – who doesn’t share her feelings. He does feel flattered, however, and eventually agrees to an engagement. Edith soon learns of his true feelings and makes a fateful decision…

Grand emotions such as love, joy, loss and disappointment, are laced with finely observed melancholy and subtle insights in a tense and gripping narrative which makes Beware of Pity perfect material for the cinema.

Shooting is planned to begin in 2014 in Bavaria, Austria and Hungary. The film will open in 2015 through Senator Film Verleih. Contact: Senator Film Produktion Antje Pankow (SVP Publicity) Tel.: +49 (0)30-88091-551 E-Mail: