Young Torless (outdoor screening, weather permitting)

Wednesday, 9 September

Young Torless (outdoor screening, weather permitting)

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If the weather is good, this will be an OUTDOOR SCREENING for email reservation see below
YOUNG TORLESS  1966 (Der junge Törless) Directed Volker Schlöndorff 90 minutes In German with English subtitles

Institutional education has its good sides and bad sides, without a doubt. But it didn't always exist, of course. It largely came out of the Prussian goal to educate youth into a certain system of thinking and behaving. In a way, it also bred a certain kind of cruelty, by creating hierarchies and pitting one student against another. It's this shift in history that this film, based on the writings of both Robert Musil and Hannah Arendt, is focused on.

Both intimate and harrowing, this cinematic adaptation of Robert Musil’s novel Young Törless helped kick off the New German Cinema, and put the movement on the international map. The style still feels fresh today, and even borders on a Michael Haneke flick in some ways. It depicts a crucial problem at the core of our society... our turning away from fellow humans when they fall victim to cruelty. The question is if this is our nature, or is this cynicism slowly drilled into us? For my part, I believe everything is possible in the human spirit - poetry, cruelty, creativity, violence, banality, forgiveness, magic, revenge, etc. Everything depends upon what kind of environment we live in, and which of those attributes are brought to the surface.   

Absolutely riveting and confronting, this is a bitter pill to swallow, but done with such piercing insight it is impossible to forget. It even features the legendary horror actress Barbara Steele, in a small but pivotal role. I don't advise Americans to watch this - it is without the mandatory happy-ending, or comfortable moral disposition. Instead it is an incredible analysis of how our society functions, and how our indifference to others is generated. In 1966 it picked up the International Critics’ Prize for first-time director at Cannes.

This will be a high-definition screening... and like I said, if the weather is good it will be held outdoors. Otherwise it will be held in the main hall of the Goethe Institute.

Pity, but the Goethe asks for reservations, so send an email to:

Date & Time: 

Wednesday, 9 September, 2020 - 20:00


  • film


  • free
Goethe Institute
1017 CA Amsterdam

Weekly programme of film screenings in a circuit of underground / self-organised venues. Forgotten movies that should have been classics, neglected flics, lesser-known gems, always with a personal introduction by the programmer. All films in English, or with English subtitles.


  • film

opening times: 

mostly Sunday to Thursday at about 7 different underground locations.