"BUDDENBROOKS - THE DECLINE OF A FAMILY is the gripping cinematic adaptation of Thomas Mann’s Nobel Prize-Winning novel of 1900. Touching upon the fate of three generations (years of 1835-1877), we witness the rise and fall of a merchant family in Northern Germany. In a society that is poised to change, family values seem doomed to change with it. Personal longings that were supposed to be sacrificed for the greater good of the family business now threaten to break apart a dynasty that was characterized by diligence and hard work and by faith and respect.
While Thomas (Mark Waschke) is willing to fill the void of their father, Consul Jean (Armin Mueller-Stahl), and to steer the firm through the times of modernization and rising competition, his brother Christian (August Diehl) is trying to break away from any responsibility. We find him in dubious company, marrying a woman from a vaudeville show, rebelling against everything their father stood up for. It is left to their sister, Tony (Jessica Schwarz), who sacrifices her true love for the sake of the family’s fortune, to hold the family ties together. But when their competitor Hagenström proves to have the better instinct for the changing needs of the market, even her influence seems to vanish…"
[synopsis from Bavaria Film International]
Buddenbrooks was earlier adapted in 1979 and shown on PBS as a miniseries
Photos: Stefan Falke, Bavaria Film