Enigma Variations : Summary

Length: 80 Min. Format: 35mm Colour

First broadcast: 09.09.2005, ARD


In an interview with the Nobel Prize winner for Literature Abel Znorko (Mario Adorf), who lives in seclusion on an island off the North Norwegian coast, the journalist Erik Larsen (Justus von Dohnanyi) questions the personal background to the writer’s last publication, an autobiographical epistolary novel consisting of correspondence between two lovers over many years.

Initially, there is nothing cordial about the meeting between the two men as Larsen constantly tries to wangle information out of his counterpart. However, the situation soon changes and it is no longer clear which of them is wanting to extract something from the other. For a woman – who will never actually appear - suddenly becomes the subject of the conversation.

Through incisive dialogue and surprising twists, a truth gradually comes to light that neither of the men had expected…

Mario Adorf and Justus von Dohnányi appear here in front of the camera in the roles they had taken Volker Schlöndorff’s stage production for the Renaissance-Theater in Berlin.