The Ogre : Summary

Length: 118 Min. Format: 35mm Colour

Premiere: Venedig 1996, IFF; German Premiere: 12.09.1996, Cologne (FBW "valuable")


Abel Tiffauges (John Malkovich) grows up unloved and without parents in the 1920s in a French boarding school, but he is, nonetheless, convinced from an early age of his higher calling. When he wishes that the school would burn down to save him from a punishment, the building is soon standing in flames.

Years later, he is living as a car mechanic on the outskirts of Paris. He has contact only with children, animals and a few outcasts. Suspected of having indecently assaulted a small girl, fate again takes care of his own: the Second World War begins and saves him from prison. But Abel immediately ends up as a French prisoner-of-war in East Prussia. Abel experiences as a liberation what for others would be a tragic exile. He finds the long dreamt-of adventure land of his childhood in the forests and lakes of East Prussia.

Reichsjägermeister Goering engages Abel for his hunting lodge. Abel accompanies him on the hunt - until a battle in faraway Stalingrad and the capitulation of the 6th Army brings Goering´s splendid life in the East to an end. But, for Abel, this development is just another step towards the ancient Citadel of Kaltenborn where 400 pupils aged between 12 and 16 are being trained for their role as the future elite of the Reich. He brings back young boys for the elite school from his raids in the isolated villages of Masuria. He, who the children love, captures them for the castle like an ogre. It is only when Abel finds a young Jewish boy in the wake of a death march by concentration camp prisoners and brings him to the castle, that The Ogre develops into the monster´s enemy.