Kafka Romance The Glory of Life Sells Wide

International buyers are swooning over The Glory of Life, a very un-kafkaesque love story about Franz Kafka and his last romance.

The German-language drama, from directors Judith Kaufmann and Georg Maas, follows the romance between Franz Kafka (Sabin Tambrea) and Dora Diamant (Henriette Confurius) in the final year of the famed writer’s life, before his death from tuberculosis at age 40.

Unlike most adaptations of Kafka’s work — from Orson Welles’s The Trial (1962) to Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka (1991) to The Castle (1997) from Michael Haneke — angst and existential dread are mostly absent from The Glory of Life. Based on the bestselling novel by Michael Kumpfmüller, the film focuses instead on what the directors’ claim was the happiest period in Kafka’s life.

Menemsha Films has picked up North American rights to The Glory of Life, with Condor taking France, Wanted Cinema acquiring the movie in Italy, Divisa Red in Spain and September Film for the Benelux region. TrustNordisk, which is handling world sales on the film, also closed deals for Turkey (Ozen Film), Former Yugoslavia (Cinemania Group), Taiwan (Swallow Wings) and Australia (Moving Story).

“This widespread interest is a testament to the enduring fascination with Kafka’s extraordinary life and love story,” said TrustNordisk managing director Susan Wendt.

The Glory of Life had its world premiere in Germany on March 14 through distributor Majestic Film. The film’s release is timed to the 100th anniversary of Kafka’s death on June 3, 1924.

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