A Heros Welcome

Original Title: Nacht vor Augen

technical information

2008; Germany; Drama, War; 91 minutes; 35mm, HDCAM-SR; 1:1.85; Dolby SR; Original Language: German; Subtitles: English


Brigitte Maria Bertele
Johanna Stuttmann
Mathias Prause
Stephan Krumbiegel
Christian Biegai
Production Company
Noir Film GmbH & Co. KG
Didi Danquart, Boris Michalski


Hanno Koffler
Jona Ruggaber
Petra Schmidt-Schaller
Magarita Broich
Wolfram Koch
Maxim Mehmet
Sergeant Kleiber
Bruno Cathomas
Frau Poloczek
Christina Große
  • Brigitte Maria Bertele
  • Didi Danquart

Brigitte Maria Bertele

Brigitte Maria Bertele studied acting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Ulm and film at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy in Ludwigsburg. She took part in acting master classes in New York and Moscow and film studies in Tirana and in Buenos Aires. In 2002 she was culture editor with Saxony Television in Dresden. Her film “Horizon Zone” won Best Documentary at the Bianco Film Festival in Perugia in 2004 and the 2007 documentary “Roaming Around” won a host of prizes, including the German Editing Prize and the German Camera Prize. “A Hero’s Welcome” was shown at the Forum at the Berlinale in 2008 and has won the Baden-Württemberg MFG Screenplay prize. The film is Brigitte Maria Bertele’s feature debut.

Selective Filmography

Feature Film
Der Brand
Nacht vor Augen aka A Hero's Welcome
Horizon Zone
Feature Documentary
Berggorillas - Ugandas sanfte Riesen
24 h Berlin - Ein Tag im Leben
Roaming Around
photo of Brigitte Maria Bertele

Didi Danquart

Born in 1955 in Singen (Hohentwiel). He studied psychology and sociology in Freiburg and he was founding member of the "Freiburg's Media Factory" - a political film collective, which carried on several documentary projects. Since 1978 Didi Danquart was very active in the area of documentary films and very successful with "Wundbrand", which he shot during the civil war in Bosnia in 1993. His first feature film was "Bohai Bohau", which he shot in 1995. Didi also gained experience as theatre director during his years at several theatre companies in Germany. However, ever since he's working as director, writer and producer (co-founder of NOIRFILM) and is teaching film at the "Academy of Art and Design" in Karlsruhe. "The Path to the Past" is based on the book "Lena's Love" by Judith Kuckart.

Director's Note

"Forgetting is a privilege of the dead", wrote Heiner Müller in his text "Mommsen's Block" (1993), as a philosophical reflection on the human, about all dictatorships and across other social formations. Accordingly, the remembrance is a privilege of the living. When in 2007 the author Judith Kuckart offered me to adapt her novel Lena's love, I discovered in her book both ideas of privilege, of the dead and the living. The challenge was: how to visualize the theoretical concept of memory, to seek only the language? Watching again the great movie "Wild Strawberries" by Ingmar Bergman with its character Isak Borg, an ancient and malignant stubborn professor of medicine, I saw the reflection of one of my main characters, Julius Dahlman. Surprisingly, this old film helped me enormously to find the artistic access for today's implementation of Kuckart's story and motivated me to find my own way to tell a mythical road movie in which the fates of three individuals fuse in the memory and the actual time. My film is therefore a tribute to the great master of mythological films. The original German title BITTERE KIRSCHEN (Bitter Cherries) is a tribute to the Bergman's title.

PATH TO THE PAST is the last episode of my trilogy about human condition, after "Viejud Levi" (1999) and "Offset" (2006). Characterized by a very personal experience in my life and the social stigmatization of people based on their provenance, my films are a rebellion against the collective displacement, the social disasters and the breaking up of population's norms. The social expectations are sometimes improper: the children of Nazi perpetrators can also be victims of Fascism; a priest - despite celibacy - can also have erotic feelings and cherish women. The human condition is generally referred to the condition of the humans and the nature of man. In "PATH TO THE PAST" I let the poetic images speak when no words are needed and used a language that classifies itself in the power of nature, without being too far from everyday language. For this cinematic journey, the great actors embody some archetypes, they are committed to themselves without neglecting their dialogue. That's why my film is a creation, that reveals itself only in its complex entity, which overrides the classical dramaturgy (as a cinematographic work). The language merges in the images to create a mythology of life and death. "THE PATH TO THE PAST" throws new questions until the end of the story without answering them explicitly.

Selective Filmography

Feature Film
Das letzte Wort
Viehjud Levi
Lemberg - Geöffnete Stadt
Bohai, Bohau
The Pannwitz Stare
TV Series
SOKO Stuttgart
photo of Didi Danquart
A HEROS WELCOME - EastWest Filmdistribution GmbH