Film Days Pay Tribute to Mueller-Stahl with “Music Box”

A rarity in film history: On the occasion of Armin Mueller-Stahl’s honorary citizenship of Schleswig-Holstein and his 80th birthday, Nordic Film Days Lübeck has unearthed a rarely screened oeuvre of American film history, in which Armin Mueller-Stahl plays the lead role: “Music Box” by director Constantin Costa-Gavras from the year 1989. The famous actor will be a guest at the 52nd Nordic Film Days in Lübeck.

Hungarian Laszlo (Mueller-Stahl) is charged with having given false information on his arrival in the USA. Documents incriminate him with serious war crimes that he supposedly committed as a member of a police unit in Hungary during World War II. Laszlo engages his daughter as a defence attorney. She consents, but soon realizes that the evidence against her father is overwhelming. Several witnesses identify him as "Mishka" – who tortured them and killed many others. But Laszlo retreats into an ever deeper silence ...

"Music Box" received the Golden Bear at the 1990 Berlinale, not least because of the differentiated portrayal of a "Täter", of an offender, by the lead actor: "Armin Mueller-Stahl turns completely inwards to the self, and in doing so renders visible a long since executed drying up of the soul. A man who holds onto his obstinacy to the very end." (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 11.9.1990)