Hanna's Sleeping Dogs

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About The Film

In HANNA’S SLEEPING DOGS, a young girl learns the truth about her family’s secret identity in a 1960s provincial Austrian town still harboring prejudices from the past.

Bright, adventurous nine-year-old Johanna (Nike Seitz) senses something is not right in her working-class community of Wels, where an idyllic façade hides historical traumas. Despite a strict Catholic upbringing, the local pastor and religious teacher make her feel unwelcome, and neighbors ostracize, insult and threaten the family. Events take a dramatic turn when Johanna discovers that her anguished mother Katharina (Franziska Weisz) and blind grandmother Ruth (German Academy Award winner Hannelore Elsner) are Jewish, having survived the war under assumed identities. Rather than let sleeping dogs lie, mother and daughter must decide whether to live in continued isolation, or allow Johanna to reveal her true heritage under her real name, Hanna.

Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Elisabeth Escher, HANNA’S SLEEPING DOGS was awarded the Golden Goblet prize for Best Screenplay at the Shanghai International Film Festival. 

Film Details

Running Time 
120 minutes
Atlanta Premiere