Review: Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe


“Farewell to Europe,” Austria’s official nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, begins in an opulent diningroom in Brazil where five maids scurry to finish setting a gigantic table laden with exotic flowers. This was 1936, when coffee, rubber and cocoa were Brazil’s most popular exports and Europe was flailing around in an economic depression and growing national extremism. The extravagant dinner was to honor Stefan Zweig, writer-in-exile.

Comparing this film to current times, Kathleen B. Jones wrote in the Los Angeles Review of Books (2/27/2017) this biopic “couldn’t be more appropriate to our moment, when the rise of right-wing nationalist populism in Europe and the United States threatens both the utopian ideal of peace and the social fabric of pluralism and cosmopolitanism to which Zweig devoted his life.” (CONTINUED)

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