The Castle

The attempts of surveyor K. to get into the castle are as unsuccessful as his attempt to settle in the local village. The harder K. tries, the further he moves from his goals. K. remains what he was on the day of his arrival: a stranger who is barely tolerated.

Das Schloß
Austria, Germany 1997
  • Czech
130 min.

The film, fully based on Kafka's work, evokes the absurdities of life – and life is in its way as cruel as a prison, without the latter's visible walls and shackles. Surveyor K. fights his way on, like a man deserted by God and the world, persued by snowstorms and his lonely days. In his mind's eyes, life unravels like an endless chain of insignificant events. In his heart he carries hope – a hope that might be fulfilled one day even though every further step is incomprehensibly destroying it. Misunderstandings, and illogical and incomprehensible caprice influence the attitudes of surveyor K., to crush his spirit.

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Director: Michael Haneke
Based on: Franz Kafka
Screenplay: Michael Haneke
Cinematography: Jiří Štíbr
Sound: Hannes Eder, Marc Parisotto
Editing: Andreas Prochaska
Production Design: Christoph Kanter
Producer: Veit Heiduschka, Christina Undritz
Costumes: Lisy Christl
Cast: Ulrich Mühe, Susanne Lothar, Frank Giering, Felix Eitner, Nikolaus Paryla, André Eisermann, Dörte Lyssewski, Inga Busch, Norbert Schwientek, Hans Diehl