Winter 1944. The Bavarian Alps are –still – an oasis of peace. The ideal place to make a film – and far enough away from Berlin to survive. In the wake of Melnitz and Gerron, Charles Lewinsky presents another sophisticated, historically coherent novel full of breathless suspense.
As 1944 draws to an end and the Allied Forces close in on Berlin, a UFA film crew does whatever it takes to escape the threat of extinction facing the capital. Under false pretences, they manage to procure a contract for a purportedly war-related film project and relocate to the remote mountain village of Kastelau near Berchtesgaden. Lied der Freiheit (Song of Freedom) is to be a propaganda film that will encourage the German populace to hold out against the advancing enemy – at least that’s what people are meant to believe. The group is making do with the basic cast, and when the village is cut off by snow the filming of a fictitious story increasingly turns into the fictitious story of a film shoot. One way or another it has to look convincing — it’s the only way the crew can salvage their lives and future careers. But lies pile up on lies as the subterfuge becomes increasingly fragile; a web of intrigue and unexpected events unfolds, so that before long no one knows where truth ends and fiction begins. Charles Lewinsky brings us a riveting apocalyptic tragicomedy based on an actual event.