A poor and lonely charburner (Franz Schnyder as Peter Munk) trades his heart to a demon of the forest (Stefan Schnabel), hoping to improve his condition… Shot in the early 1930s by renowned pianist Karl Ulrich Schnabel and finished in 2016 with a enthralling soundtrack by Robert Israel, this spellbinding silent film is a fascinating accomplishment, starring Swiss director Franz Schnyder and Stefan Schnabel.
About the project
„The Cold Heart“ is based on a famous German legend. Its main characters derive from the traditional handcrafts of the Black Forest, the charburners, gaffers and raftsmen, and the rivalry of them. It was filmed in 1931-33 in the surroundings of Berlin. Renowned pianist Karl Ulrich Schnabel produced this fantasy film using his own, modest means but with the support of his friends and family.
Due to the political development in Berlin the film could not be completed until 2009, when Swiss filmmaker Raff Fluri became aware of the project in connection with its leading actor Franz Schnyder.
Traduction : Ann & François Mottier-Schnabel
In 2016, about 83 years later, the film could finally be finished. The present restored version is based on the unique but shortened 16 mm print.
A version as faithful as possible to the original, based on the director’s notes and supplemented with work material and cut scenes, has been recreated. A few intertitles have been added for better understanding.
No evidence of a planned soundtrack was found in the director’s notes. Acclaimed composer Robert Israel, who knew Schnabel’s musical work well, composed the soundtrack to his best knowledge and after extensive research..
- 2th March 2019, Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley USA
- Actually no english press or articles