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The winner of the German “Oscar” for Best Actor, Director and Picture, and acclaimed by critics upon its U.S. theatrical release, Kaspar Hauser is a powerful mix of social commentary and moody, evocative filmmaking. It boasts the visual splendor and sweep of an historical drama while exploring one of the most notorious mysteries of German culture (and the subject of a 1974 film by Werner Herzog). Kaspar Hauser tells the bizarre story of an elaborate plot to control the lineage of the throne of the Duchy of Baden. The scheming Countess Hochberg conspires to kidnap the rightful heir, Kaspar Hauser, and replace him with a changeling. Kaspar is imprisoned for twelve years in a dark cellar until, one day in 1828, he appears on the streets of Nuremburg a crippled, disturbed young man. André Eisermann delivers a brilliant, moving performance as the child-like Kaspar who, after his discovery on that desolate roadside, is taken under the wings of a succession of benefactors. In a grim, pessimistic reworking of the Pygmalion tale, the wild Kaspar is transformed by “civilized” society into a gentleman, even though he faces the threat of betrayal by the very forces that sought to “rescue” him. With the twists and turns of a complex political thriller, Peter Sehr’s Kaspar Hauser is a damning portrait of a corrupt, malignant aristocracy that will stop at nothing to conceal the connection between a displaced young man and the throne.

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KI5062 Kaspar Hauser DVD (1993/Peter Sehr) $24.95 $22.45