My Best Enemy

by Wolfgang Murnberger

1938 – a missing Michelangelo painting, the ambitions of a housekeepers "Arian" son and his wealthy Jewish childhood friend who puts on a SS uniform to safe his life and family.

Vienna in the 1930s. Since his childhood, Victor Kaufmann, the son of wealthy Jewish gallery owners, has been close friends with Rudi Smekal. Victor's girlfriend, the perky and attractive Lena, rounds off the inseparable trio that vows to stick together come hell or high water.The Kaufmanns are shocked when Rudi shows up in an SS uniform after the annexation of Austria. The whole Kaufmann family is sent to a concentration camp, against Rudi's will. Years later, the Nazi bosses in Berlin want to present Italy's Duce with a confiscated Michelangelo sketch that belongs to the Kaufmanns. But the sketch is a forgery. They want the genuine Michelangelo! Rudi is ordered to get Victor out of the concentration camp and bring him to Berlin for interrogation. Their plane is shot down by partisans, however, and Victor doesn't have the heart to simply leave the injured Rudi behind. He drags him into a hut and offers to share his concentration camp clothing with him. One gets the pants, the other the jacket, and thus both have nothing to fear from the Polish soldiers. But while Rudi is putting on the prison camp jacket, Victor hears the alleged partisans speaking German. With great presence of mind, he quickly puts on Rudi's uniform. When the German soldiers barge into the hut, Victor presents them with his “prisoner,” the wildly protesting Rudi. The Jewish prisoner becomes an SS man, and the Sturmbannführer the prison-camp inmate. A game with reversed roles. A game of life and death, in which Lena must decide on whose side she's on.

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German / 100 minutes
Original title
Mein bester Feind
directed by
Wolfgang Murnberger (SILENTIUM, THE BONE MAN)
produced by
Aichholzer Film and Goldkind Filmproduktion
Cast
  • Moritz Bleibtreu (KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR, SHADES OF GUILT)
  • Georg Friedrich (NORTH FACE, MY BEST ENEMY)
  • Marthe Keller (THE ESCAPE, AFTER LOVE)
  • Udo Samel (THE PIANO PLAYER)
  • Ursula Strauss (MY BEST ENEMY)
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Press Quotes

“one of the berlinale's best films.”
THE MOVING ARTS FILM JOURNAL

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