Professor Bernhardi

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In the intensive care unit of a private clinic, a young girl is dying after a clandestine and botched abortion. However, the patient believes that she will soon be well again. In order to allow her to die without fear, the Jewish head physician, Professor Bernhardi, refuses to allow the Catholic priest summoned by her strictly religious parents to enter the ward and thus to hear her last confession and administer the last rites. Bernhardi's adversaries in politics and the medical profession played up the incident to their own political and personal advantage. A battle for the sovereignty of interpretation of the actually lapidary incident breaks out in public, in parliament and in court, and an anti-Semitic shit-storm breaks out over the doctor... Austrian author Arthur Schnitzler, himself a doctor and a Jew, knew exactly what he was writing about: his father Johann Schnitzler was chief physician and director of the General Polyclinic in Vienna from 1884- 1893, until it was made "Judenrein" in 1893 due to anti-Semitic currents. Schnitzler's astute analysis of the increasingly anti-Semitic medical milieu in Vienna led to a ban on the performance of the comedy in Austria in 1912. Iranian director Amir Reza Koohestani, together with author Mahin Sadri, adapts Schnitzler's brilliant and sharp-tongued comedy about conflicts in career and professional life and the intertwining of science and politics into the here and now.

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