Update: The U.S. premiere takes place at the New York Jewish Film Festival Sunday, 20 January 2019, at 8:00 p.m.!
Following a well-received world premiere at Filmfest München on 29 June, Mackie Messer: Brechts Dreigroschenfilm opens in theaters all over Germany on 13 September 2018. Directed by Joachim Lang, the film embeds itself in the story of another film: G.W. Pabst’s adaptation of the wildly popular Die Dreigroschenoper (1928) written by Weill, Bertolt Brecht, and Elisabeth Hauptmann. Brecht was originally tapped to write the screenplay for Pabst’s film, but his changing political views led to controversy that slowed the production. Ultimately, he failed to deliver the script on time and it was not used, which sparked a lawsuit. Pabst’s film has remained popular with generations unaware of the turmoil that surrounded its creation; Lang’s film explores the turmoil and revels in it.
The cast comprises a pantheon of German stars: Lars Eidinger (Brecht), Robert Stadlober (Weill), Tobias Moretti (Macheath), Hannah Herzsprung (Polly Peachum/Carola Neher), Joachim Król (Mr. Peachum), Peri Baumeister (Hauptmann), Max Raabe (Moritat-Singer), Britta Hammelstein (Jenny/Lotte Lenya) and many more. The score, which features a large helping of music from the original stage work, is conducted by HK Gruber, one of the world’s most lauded Weill interpreters. Film festival success marks a good start, and now the film goes before the broad German public.
Before the film becomes available nationwide on 13 September, there will be a special, invitation-only showing in Berlin on the 10th. The first broadcast of Mackie Messer auf dem Weg ins Kino – hinter den Kulissen des Dreigroschenfilms, a documentary on the making of Lang’s film, takes place on SWR television on 6 September, to be followed by broadcasts on 3sat, rbb Fernsehen, and HR-Fernsehen. And at least one stage company takes advantage of the advent of Brechts Dreigroschenfilm, as Staatsoperette Dresden offers a special screening on 16 September preceding a performance of their production of Die Dreigroschenoper. A panel discussion featuring Lang will follow the screening.
Promotional video featuring stars of the film (Youtube)
Learn more about Die Dreigroschenoper