At an Austrian military academy, Alfred Redl (Klaus Maria Brandauer), a Catholic with Jewish roots, forms a friendship with aristocrat Kristof von Kubinyi (Jan Niklas) and his sister, Katalin (Gudrun Landgrebe). She falls in love with him but cannot marry below her station. Still, they carry on a lifelong affair, though, as she suspects, he has always been in love with her brother. Despite Redls constant fear of exposure as a Jew or a homosexual, he rises to the rank of colonel. As the Austro-Hungarian empire crumbles from within in the heady days before World War I, he is placed in charge of internal military intelligence in Vienna, where he is drawn into the Byzantine schemes of the archduke, who may be plotting to start a war. Although he is the implementer of the plot, he soon begins to suspect he may also be the scapegoat. The story is based on the real life of Redl and on John OsborneÂ’s play A PATRIOT FOR ME. Brandauer, in the paradoxical role of Redl, the military man with secrets whoÂ’s in charge of investigating others, gives a tremendous performance--the equal of his riveting role in MEPHISTO, which, along with HANUSSEN, forms a thematic trilogy. Only an actor of BrandauerÂ’s superb emotive control could project, in almost imperceptibly shifting facial expressions, a palpable sense of a young boy who has become a sad man watching an entire empire about to be swept away. Director Istvan Szabo brings the sumptuous world of the last days of the Hapsburgs to life in warm, faded sepia tones while creating a fascinating portrait of a man whose life would indirectly change the course of world history.
Release Date: 16 October 2006
Certificate: TBA - To Be Announced
Main Language: English