Taking Sides

Release Date: September 5, 2003
Limited release

I solemnly swear to never show my penis onscreen again.

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Taking Sides examines the true story of German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, who chose to remain and continue his career after Hitler rose to power in the late ‘30s. A Jew himself, Furtwängler helped save many Jewish musicians and artists, but he was criticized after the war and even faced prosecution as a Nazi collaborator. The film addresses the question of an artist's political responsibility within a totalitarian regime, and whether it is truly possible to separate art from politics in some circumstances.

Taking Sides premiered at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. Since then, it has played in a number of festivals and countries across Europe, winning several awards and much critical acclaim along the way. The film is now scheduled for a limited release in the United States beginning September 5, 2003. Despite the universal critical praise for the film and the performances, it is doubtful Taking Sides will see much activity outside the art-house circuit, given the subject matter. While films examining various aspects of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust are important projects, they are also rarely successful in box office terms. The same will likely hold true once the film moves on to the home video market, where it is doubtful it will break out of its niche market into wider success. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Taking Sides
Main Cast Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard, Moritz Bleibtreu, R. Lee Ermey, Birgit Minichmayr, Ulrich Tukur
Supporting Cast Oleg Tabakov, Hanns Zischler, Armin Rohde, August Zirner, Daniel White, Thomas Thieme, Jed Curtis, Garrick Hagon, Robin Renucci
Director Istvan Szabo
Screenwriter Ronald Harwood
Distributor New Yorker Films
Rating Unrated
Running Time 108 minutes
Screen Count 2
  • István Szabó, Jury Prize, 2002 International Festival of Action and Adventure Films
  • Lajos Koltai, ADF Cinematography Award and Kodak Award, 2002 Mar del Plata Film Festival
  • István Szabó, SIGNIS Award and Best Director (Tied with Libero De Rienzo for Santa Maradona), 2002 Mar del Plata Film Festival
  • Stellan Skarsgård, Silver Ombú Best Actor, 2002 Mar del Plata Film Festival

Awards page for Taking Sides
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Taking Sides
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Pianist, The 3/28/032.46 2.46 773 3177.00 3177.0 32.52 32.52 4.63
Jakob the Liar 9/24/991.85 2.20 1200 1542.00 1760.6 4.96 5.91 2.68
Heaven 10/4/020.05 0.05 4 12977.00 12977.0 0.77 0.80 14.92



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