The 2009 Movie: Albert Schweitzer

This was the official English website to promote the 2009 film, Albert Schweitzer, directed by Gavin Millar and co-starring Jeroen Krabbe as Albert Schweitzer and Barbara Hershey as Helene Schweitzer. I felt that this film was an inspiring tribute to an extraordinary humanitarian and his vision of reverence for all life.‚Äč
I happened to be in Germany at a conference for e-commerce and brick and mortor stores that sell wholesale vaporizers as well as wholesale vapor accessories. I was there to represent the wholesaler company I work for, Rich Mountain Distribution, which specializes in the newest, best quality vapor products and accessories. I was hoping to network a bit, get a feel for the European vaping market, and perhaps get some new clients. I was invited to see the Albert Schweitzer, by another convention attendee who lived in Berlin. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see the film,Albert Schweitzer, back then in 2009 just after it was released since it appears that the film was only released in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and France - not in the US even though there is an English speaking version. I do know that you can watch it on Amazon Prime.

When I purchased this domain after its registration had expired, I wanted to recreate some of its content from the site's archived pages. Unfortunately there was not content, just an images of the film's poster. Therefore the content below is from outside sources. Albert Schweitzer is an extraordinary man. Hopefully visitors to this site will be intrigued enough to learn more about this exceptional person.

Rating: NR
Genre: Art House & International , Drama
Directed By: Gavin Millar , Gavin Millar
Written By: James Brabazon , David Howard , Gavin Millar
In Theaters: Dec 24, 2009 wide
On DVD: May 5, 2015 Runtime: 114 minutes
Studio: Two Oceans Production (TOP)

For generations the name Albert Schweitzer has been synonymous with hands-on compassion and the power of Christ-like sacrifice. Now director Gavin Miller presents a landmark drama about the legendary Christian medical missionary. Co-starring Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress Barbara Hershey as Helene Schweitzer.

The film takes place in 1949 during the early years of the Cold War. Albert Schweitzer has become one of the most admired men in the world, thanks to his philosophy of Reverence for Life which he lives out in his hospital in Lambarene/West Africa. When he is urged by Albert Einstein to speak out against the hydrogen bomb tests, U.S. national security agencies consider this a denunciation of Western politics. A smear campaign is launched to discredit the septuagenarians reputation and to silence him. The investigative journalist Phil Figgis is sent to Lambarene to dig up dirt on Schweitzer and initiate a mutiny of some of the hospital doctors and local government representatives. Schweitzer is pressurized, the hospital might even be closed down. Will he resist, follow his conscience and still speak out against the nuclear weapons and the armament race?

Avoiding the pitfalls of the biopic genre, the film refrains from squeezing all aspects of the life of the German-French philosopher, musicologist, organist, theologian and physician Albert Schweitzer into a cinematic puzzle.

The British director Gavin Millar focuses instead on a few crucial years of Schweitzer’s life: the period from 1949 to 1954, the year in which he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of the "reverence for life."

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Article from dw.com

Author: Heike Mund (rb)
Editor: Toma Tasovac

New film sheds light on humanist Albert Schweitzer's life

A movie about the "jungle doctor" Albert Schweitzer tells the story of a philosopher and physician who promoted peace during the Cold War, built a hospital in what is now Gabon and proved stronger than the CIA.

"When I entered the film set in Port St. Johns, I felt like I had entered a time machine," said Harold Robles, who worked with Schweitzer in the Gabonese village Lambaréné in the sixties, and was invited to watch the shooting.

The production team had had a reliable template to work from: a documentary film from 1957 which offered first-hand insight into the life and work of the so-called "jungle doctor" and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

In 2009, it took the combined effort of 30 carpenters and 60 craftsmen to replicate the details of the African village for the film.

For weeks, the crew cleared the woods and set designer Tom Hannam had hundreds of trees, shrubs and even palm trees flown in, to create the right setting.

Authentic settings

It wasn't just the Gabon village that was faithfully replicated, but Schweitzer’s study, as well as habits like hanging up papers with hooks on the walls to prevent them from being devoured by ants.

Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbé, who plays Albert Schweitzer with a strong presence and passionate enthusiasm, also felt transported to the historical site of the events.

"I could get hold of the film documents and study exactly how Schweitzer moved, wrote, and played the organ," Krabbé said. "One day, I realized how much I had grown into the role: like Schweitzer, I did one thing while thinking about five other things that I had yet to do."

The movie was shot entirely in South Africa and in just under two months.

The film revolves around two settings: the New York of the early 50's, and the jungle village in Gabon, where the Alsatian doctor’s hospital was based.

Not a biopic

Avoiding the pitfalls of the biopic genre, the film refrains from squeezing all aspects of the life of the German-French philosopher, musicologist, organist, theologian and physician Albert Schweitzer into a cinematic puzzle.

British director Gavin Millar focuses instead on a few crucial years of Schweitzer’s life: the period from 1949 to 1954, the year in which he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of the "reverence for life."

The film also includes a flashback to the time before World War I, when Schweitzer built a hospital in Gabon at a time when there was a lack of everything – beds, nurses, medicines and bandages. His young wife Helen helped her husband selflessly and to the point of exhaustion.

Watched by the CIA

Schweitzer’s convictions were challenged during a lecture tour of the United States aimed at collecting donations for his jungle hospital.

His friend Albert Einstein – played in the film by German actor Armin Rohde – asked Schweitzer on behalf of his colleagues for support in the fight against the nuclear bomb threat back at that time. Schweitzer hesitated and became the victim of a deliberate slander.

The CIA suspected him of anti-American propaganda and communist activities. It decided to send a young agent masquerading as journalist Phil Figgis – played by Samuel West – to monitor Schweitzer's activities.

In Gabon, the government threatened to close down his hospital, but Schweitzer, assisted by his colleagues and patients, eventually managed to turn things around.


Renowned cast

Director Millar has hired top actors for his latest film. Oscar-nominated Hollywood actress Barbara Hershey has already won the Palme d'Or at Cannes for her portrayal of the self-sacrificing Helene Schweitzer. Samuel West of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who has been praised for his roles in literary adaptations, plays CIA agent Phil Figgis.

Millar has captivated the audience with this film, which depicts a chapter of political history of the 20th century.

"Schweitzer was once famous and popular like Nelson Mandela – known throughout the world as a great humanist and philosopher," said Millar." Today, he is hardly known."

That’s something this movie is hoping to change.

 

 

REVIEWS from Outside Sources

 

Movie review for Albert Schweitzer - Ein Leben für Afrika

From Michael Föls on 17/01/2010 rating: 4 / 10 points

"Reverence for Life," was the famous motto of Albert Schweitzer , one of the greatest humanists of the past century. Nowadays, most know only little about the versatile intellectual who was by his African bush hospital Lambaréné world fame, and was finally honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Since the name of Albert Schweitzer still is a synonym for the do-gooders, but have very few concrete knowledge about Schweitzer, a biopic makes perfect sense.Unfortunately, it lacks the finished product but at corners and edges, so that slowly runs all in futility.

Albert Schweitzer ( Jeroen Krabbé ) leaves in 1949 together with his wife Helene ( Barbara Hershey ) be Lambaréné Hospital in Africa, to raise funds in America. Schweitzer is considered a highly regarded, and with its organ concerts and lectures can earn good money back to the arms of benefit to later. But Schweitzer is in the midst of the Cold War, and in a moral dilemma. On one side asks him his good friend Albert Einstein ( Armin Rohde ) to join his protests against the nuclear bomb, on the other side would Schweitzer risking in the crosshairs of the anti-communist faction to fall around Senator McCarhty what him with problems could pave the donations ...

Gavin Millar's Albert Schweitzer film it would, for lack of competition, not too hard to have to attract interested in the topic, but you should be aware in advance equal to some facts. On the one hand, the film does not even try to be a large-scale biopic that graze as many points.Instead predominantly one focuses on the theme Lambaréné and the nuclear conflict. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware that a comprehensive treatise is not guaranteed. On the other hand must also be clear that Albert Schweitzer has become a very superficial film that shows hardly new, and at whose meaningfulness we also may doubt therefore happy.

Whoever already informed going into the film, will be disappointed as we learn little new from the film. On Details lays Albert Schweitzer nor worth as on facets, and so only the most important cornerstones are discussed. However, if still nothing by Albert Schweitzer, perhaps with the exception of his name, know who gets at least a brief outline, so that you begin to have any idea has what is at stake at the Albert Schweitzer topic. A problem here is that the film all possible counterpoints as the authoritarian style of leadership, and the conflict between family and work, dismisses as trivialities, and almost humorous dissolves so that Albert Schweitzer unfortunately largely degenerate into unthinking gooder fable.

These problems can be even life, but the film never really justify why he actually runs in the cinema, and is not sent as a television movie. The staging is located uncreative and stuffy, although the performers act strong, but can not allude to the one-dimensional and encrusted writer, and the images shown are indeed fine, but somehow smooth and unloving. Albert Schweitzer is thus certainly not a movie you must see, as it makes a whole too much wrong, and indeed entertaining, but it is also inspirtations- and lifeless. Big screen looks different because Albert Schweitzer would have deserved something better.

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The Good Person of Lambarene

Rüdiger Suchsland

He was almost too good to be true: physician, humanist, philosopher of life (his work "Reverence for Life" was a bestseller of its time), Nobel Peace Prize. Schweitzer - came from a alemannisch-Alsatian family, and was born in the Upper Rhine was that at that time part of the German Empire - studied after high school in Mulhouse, Strasbourg and Berlin theology and philosophy, and later medicine, before he left in 1913 as a missionary to Africa , he became famous quickly, and at least since the '40s, he was respected throughout the world, a friend of the ways of his time, such as Albert Einstein and Otto Hahn, as the poor, the humiliated and insulted to the advocate he became. A kind of secular saint in our seemingly hopeless world. Albert Schweitzer, born a German in Alsace, is a shining light on gray sky of German history, but it is us, as some other form of light, also caught strange. What do you actually still about Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)?

Gavin Millar film Albert Schweitzer - Ein Leben for Africa attempted to play a little plastic to call Schweitzer into memory and become visible as a human being can be. If he just now coming into our cinemas, which fits into the humanistic mind of the main character not only perfect for Christmas. It fits well also means that production company and rental NFP, have with the cinema biographies Protestant hero apparently found their specific market niche and specialize in a corresponding evangelical audience clientele. Previously it was the Bio-dramas Bonhoeffer - The final stage and Luther - especially the latter, the time started at Reformation holiday, draw in the crowds.

So now Albert Schweitzer. The plot of the film does not try to check off which all life stages chronologically - they are touched only in flashbacks short reminder - but revolves around a relatively short but important margin in Schweitzer's life: the years between 1949 and 1959. The horrors of World War II are still close presence, the Cold war begins. Schweitzer (Jeroen Krabbé) works as a jungle doctor in Lambarene / Gabon, regularly publishes writings about Jesus, Bach or his work in Africa, and regularly lectures in the West. The film continues with such travel Schweitzer a by the United States, on the gathering of donations for Lambarene. But as he also Albert Einstein supported in its fight against the nuclear bomb, Schweitzer become the target of a smear campaign. The Americans, more precisely, right-wing Communists eaters around the notorious Senator McCarthy, are also in this film once again the villain - a somewhat one-sided drawing whittle Schweitzer opponents to caricatures. In addition, sometimes, after all, not entirely grasped from the air oppose Schweitzer's own position in their relevance not occur.

So has this film no political enlightenment, but rather - apparently - easily consumable holiday fare - but which nevertheless is a difficult in retrospect in the stomach, because it leaves many questions unanswered.

Director Millar contributes stylistically quite thick, and told Einstein's story as a kind of Christmas tale. Einstein is in the same time a dear Nicholas, who preaches with a white beard, pith helmet and a kindly glance world peace and morality, as well as a sometimes nasty Bogeyman who has been tackling the Africans in Lambarene slightly harder - because it's otherwise not hear ( at least that he and his director). But also to his wife Helene (Barbara Hershey) and the adult daughter Rheena (the German Jeanette Hain in a beautiful small appearance) is this Einstein a gnarled and sometimes quite irascible patriarch. So this movie is quite different on the other hand a too simple glorification of its main character from pleasant.

The cinematic presentation is modest - to say: Without artistic ambition illustrate beautiful African postcard designs an action which is rather tough advanced through the dialogues. Armin Rohde is in his surprise appearance as Albert Einstein (!) Basically convincing, sometimes badly chargierend. What lasting memories, is the impression of a vigorous, multifaceted man, an interesting and remarkable life story in the 20th century.

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IMDB Review

Not too sure if justice was done

11 August 2016 | by Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) (Berlin, Germany)

"Albert Schweitzer" is a 110-minute live action film from 2009, so it's already over 5 years old. The director and one of the writer trio here is Gavin Millar, a TV BAFTA winning Scottish filmmaker. The title character is played by Jeroen Krabbé, but the most known cast member is probably Oscar nominee Barbara Hershey. It is a co-production between Germany and South Africa and the main language here is German. Probably almost everybody has heard the name Albert Schweitzer, but he is one of the guys where you know he's a good guy, but you don't really known very much in detail what it was exactly that made him one of the good guys except that it was charitable work. The good thing is that, in this film here, you will find out about it. The bad thing is that I don't think that justice was really done to the person. It is not really the fault of Krabbé or Hershey, but I just felt that the film was never really as interesting or even touching as it could have been if it had worked out. I am fairly certain that a better script could have made this a really exciting and significant film. Schweitzer would have deserved and I guess this weak script is also the reason why this film, actually the most known one about the character, is still extremely unknown. The world's biggest film site and it has less than 250 ratings and zero reviews. Enough said. It's especially sad to see three writers work on the project here and yet this is all they came up with. The cast includes a handful familiar faces too for German cinema buffs, such as Hain, Meyer, Ulrich or Rohde playing Albert Einstein. But these names also ting to me that this is a group of actors who is more known for their charisma than for great range. But this is just one of a whole lot of minor flaws that add up however and turn this into a film that is not memorable by any means. It also drags quite a bit and should have been shorter, more focused and more essential. I give it a thumbs-down. Not recommended.

AlbertSchweitzer-TheMovie.com