Vienna, 1938: Austria is occupied by the Nazis. Dr. Josef Bartok (Oliver Masucci) is preparing to flee to America when the Gestapo arrests him. As a former notary to the deposed Austrian aristocracy, he is instructed to hand over access to their private bank accounts. Refusing to cooperate, Bartok is locked in solitary confinement by the local secret police operative Böhm (Albrecht Schuch). Just as his mind begins to crack, he finds a book of famous chess matches. To withstand the torture of isolation, Bartok disappears into the world of chess, maintaining his fragile sanity only by memorizing every move.
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Adapted with opulent attention to period detail by filmmaker and opera director Philipp Stölzl, Chess Story brings Stefan Zweig’s stirring final novella to life featuring an impressive ensemble cast featuring Masucci (When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Never Look Away), Schuch (Berlin Alexanderplatz, System Crasher), Birgit Minichmayr (3 Days in Quiberon, The Goldfish), and Rolf Lassgår (A Man Called Ove).
Chess Story arrives on DVD/VOD on April 11, 2023