Max Haufler, Der Stumme (1983)

Genres - Film, TV & Radio  |   Sub-Genres - Biography  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Switzerland  |  
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This semi-biographical documentary by Swiss director and writer Richard Dindo chronicles the professional aspirations of Max Haufler, an actor and director himself who committed suicide in 1965, largely because his long-cherished ambition of completing his film version of "The Mute" was continually frustrated by lack of economic backing. Haufler was also forced to work as an actor -- and he was an accomplished actor -- because he did not get funding for any of his projects after the two films he directed in the 1940s. Dindo considers this a great loss for Swiss filmmaking, and at the same time symptomatic of a general lack of financial support for this art in Switzerland from the 1930s through the 1950s. At the beginning of the documentary, Haufler's daughter acts out passages from the novel "The Mute" while the author of the novel (Otto F. Walter) reads from the text. In essence, the story is about a mute young man who has managed to get a job next to his long-lost father but does not want to tell him who he is -- he just hopes his father will one day recognize him. The second half of the documentary goes through the aborted production of Haufler's film version of the story.