The Austrian director of Oscar winner The Counterfeiters had ancestors on the wrong side of World War II, and wrestlers with that knowledge in his film.
Congratulations on the Oscar win
It’s the first Oscar to ever go to Austria. Everybody tells me the whole country is going crazy. It’s not going to make me a better person, but from now on, I’m not Stefan, but Oscar winner Stefan.
Has the film been received differently at home than in the U.S.?
Definitely. In Germany and Austria, they struggle with everything related to the Holocaust. Knowing that your grandparents were Nazi sympathizers is still hard to deal with.
How did that shared guilt inspire you?
This era is such an important issue in my country’s and family’s history: how Nazism could change a cultivated democracy into a murderous regime of terror. We still have politicians onthe far right who get away with saying incredible things about the Nazi time, so it was important to show that the Nazi ideology was criminal and corrupt to its very core.