The Winter Journey is based on American radio host Martin Goldsmith’s book about his Jewish parents, who fled Nazi Germany. Both were talented musicians, but after the Nuremberg Laws were enacted in 1935 they were only able to perform as members of the Jewish Cultural Federation, a bizarre propaganda organization fully controlled by the Reich Chamber of Culture.
This film brings to life the reality of their beautiful and painful love story, using remarkable and ingenuously edited archive material. It also includes reenactments of the conversations Martin Goldsmith had with his father in preparation for his book. The dynamic that emerges in the interaction between Goldsmith himself as the unseen interviewer and a vulnerable Bruno Ganz as his father is fascinating. On one occasion Ganz even references his legendary role as Hitler in Downfall, when his Goldsmith, Sr., mimics the agitated Nazi official who stamps his visa. In ways like this, the story transcends its modest place in the history of the war.