“You would die with that nameless horde?” “They’re only nameless, because you don’t know their names.” Memento Films has released an official trailer for Persian Lessons (feat. English subtitles), a German-Russian WWII thriller from filmmaker Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog). This premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. Gilles (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) is arrested by SS soldiers alongside other Jews and sent to a camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian. This lie temporarily saves him, but Gilles gets assigned a life-or-death mission: to teach Farsi to Head of Camp Koch. Through an ingenious trick, he manages to survive by inventing words of “Farsi” every day and teaching them to Koch. A harrowing story of survival during the Holocaust. The cast features Lars Eidinger as Koch, Jonas Nay, David Schütter, Alexander Beyer, Andreas Hofer, Leonie Benesch, and Luisa-Céline Gaffron. This looks to be another powerful Holocaust prestige film.
Here’s the official trailer (+ poster) for Vadim Perelman’s Persian Lessons, from Memento’s YouTube:
1942. Gilles (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), a young Belgian man, is arrested by the SS alongside other Jews and sent to a concentration camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian. This lie temporarily saves him, but then Gilles is assigned a seemingly untenable mission: to teach Farsi to Koch (Lars Eidinger), the officer in charge of the camp’s kitchen, who dreams of opening a German restaurant in Iran once the war is over. Gilles finds himself having to invent a language he doesn’t know, word by word. As the unusual relationship between the two men begins to incite jealousy and suspicion, Gilles becomes acutely aware that one false move could expose his swindle. Persian Lessons, also known as Persischstunden in German, is directed by Ukranian filmmaker Vadim Perelman, director of House of Sand and Fog, The Life Before Her Eyes, Yolki 5, and Buy Me previously. The screenplay is written by Ilya Tsofin, based on the novella by Wolfgang Kohlhaase. This premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. The film is being released in Europe this year, but has no US date yet.