Lost Zweig

Synopsis: The life of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig in Brazil. He wrote the famous book "Brasil, País do Futuro" (Brazil, Country of the Future). He and his wife Lotte, in a mysterious death pact, decided to kill themselves in the week following 1942 Carnival, in Brazil.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Sylvio Back
  8 wins.



Exile is the word

they give to nightmare.

I fled to Paris, to London.

But everywhere I went,

Gestapo thugs followed me.

My name is Stefan Zweig.

And this is the story of the

strangest week of my life.

I first came to Brazil in 1936...

and immediately fell in love

with the country.

By comparison,

Europe was about to destroy itself.

If and earthly paradise exists,

then it can't be far from Brazil.

Last year,

exhausted and disillusioned...

I went back with

my second wife, Lotte.

But it was a different Brazil

that I arrived in.

And, besides, one can never

really escape from a nightmare.


To carnival.

And to Brazil!

Not now, Hubert.

Thank you.

Come on, Herr Zweig!

Let's forget about

all the work and politics.

I'm going to take you to see

something unforgettable.

To Brazil!

To the eternal

"land of the future"!

Please, Hubert, I wrote that book

before I came to live here.


I didn't mean to...

They really dance

through the streets naked?

You won't believe your eyes.

The whole world is turned

upside down!

It all sounds so savage!

Hubert, must you?

Sorry, it's a habit.

Stop that, please!

Listen, Herr Zweig, you're right.

This is a wonderful country.

But the Brazilian intellectuals...

are either Stalinists

or fervent Catholics.

And most of them,

even the communists...

remain dictatorship's hostage.

Hardly a democrat among them.

Just a bunch of nationalist pigmies!

All they want is their job...

and someone to think for them.

So, why be so surprised

with their criticism?

This country and its government

have treated us well.

I should think we owed them

a debt of gratitude.

The Brazilian society

is not as open and free...

as they'd have you believe.

How is your health, Lotte?

It doesn't matter where I am.

I still have my attacks.

This is a time of celebration...

yet we insist on discussing

disease and tyranny.

Herr Zweig...

just because Vargas

has given you your visa...

don't think he will

automatically support...

your request for

a Jewish homeland.

Don't forget that Salazar

turned down your same request...

for a Jewish homeland

in Portuguese Africa.

I'm fully aware

of how dictatorships work.

But I sense Vargas is different.

Besides, Brazil is a continent.

I'm sure he will back my request.

Please, Herr Zweig, be careful.

Don't imagine for one moment

that Vargas protects Jews.

You and a handful of others

are useful exceptions.

Of course, he wants to look tolerant,

especially by the Americans.

And dictators, they are all flirting

with Hitler and Mussolini.


I'm sorry.

It's stuck. It's stuck!

- Sorry.

- Stefan, it's all right.

Stop it, Hubert!

For God's sake!

- Turn it off!

- Stop it!

Turn it off!

It's okay, Stefan.

It's okay.

My dear friend,

please forgive me.

I don't know what is wrong

with me these days.

Perhaps it's old age.

No, Herr Zweig.

Don't say such things.

In fact, I don't think

you've ever looked so good.


- You're very kind.

- Well, let's go!

Tomorrow we have

carnival to celebrate.

The President of the Republic,

Dr. Getlio Vargas...

welcomes the eminent

Austrian writer...

Dr. Stefan Zweig, to Brazil.

The Minister for Press and

Propaganda, Dr. Lauro Pontes...

was in charge of protocol...

and introduced the celebrity

to the Head of Government.

Dr. Zweig, accompanied by his wife...

and by his Brazilian publisher,

Sr. Jonas Faerman...

presented the President with

a copy of his popular publication...

Land of the Future"...

inscribed with a special dedication

to president Vargas.

The President wished the

well-known author a happy stay...

and urged him to write

further books...

to the glory of his

new home - Brazil.

Sing! Sing! Chop-chop!

Sing! Sing!

Good, very good!

Once more!

Stefan Zweig!

Jesus, Stefan Zweig, here!

It's you!

What a marvelous coincidence!

Stefan Zweig at carnival in Rio!

Believe me, Mr. Zweig...

when I got off the plane,

I said to my producer:

"Get me an interview

with Stefan Zweig.

He's a sublime writer.

I must talk to him. "

But your agent or somebody

said you were...


That's very kind of you, Mr. Welles.

You know, they are

boycotting my pictures.

Here it's Vargas...

back home,

it's Rockefeller and RKO studios.

Everything is tough!

I'm being censored.

So now they send me here...

to film the Brazil of the postcards,

the scenic Brazil.

But me, I want to shoot

the real people, the slums...

the black guys, the black girls!

Specially the black girls.

The people are what make

a country special.

Oh yes, Mr. Zweig! Yes!

Everything I learned about Brazil

I learned from your book.

It's a masterpiece.

No other foreigner knows Brazil,

understands Brazil like you.

And I say that to anyone

who cares to listen.

It's no secret:

your book is the inspiration

for my picture.

George! The book!



So long, Mr. Zweig.

And enjoy your paradise!

And my congratulations for

having such a beautiful wife!

Stefan, are you coming?

Am I forgetting anyone, Lotte?

Why don't you take a break?

You've gone over and over

the list for days.

I'll have plenty of time to rest

when our friends are here...

and safe with us.

Now... who have I missed?

What about the Feinbergs?

I've got the Feinbergs... here.


There must be someone

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Sylvio Back

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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