Oskar Roehler, Film Director and Novelist | Talking Germany | DW | 17.12.2012
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Talking Germany

Oskar Roehler, Film Director and Novelist

Oskar Roehler draws material for his books and screenplays from his own life and origins. He was born in 1959 in the wealthy town of Starnberg south of Munich, but had a difficult childhood marked by neglect.

He made his breakthrough in 2000 with his film “No Place to Go“, which relates the events leading up to the death of the author Hanna Flanders. The figure is based on Roehler’s own writer-mother Gisela Elsner – another topic on Talking Germany.

Oskar Roehler was born in 1959 in Starnberg near Munich. His parents Gisela Elsner and Klaus Roehler played important roles in Germany's post war literature scene and they were also members of the influential Group 47 literary association.

Roehler was an unplanned child and his mother left home when he was just three years old because she wanted to write. He was constantly passed between his grandparents in southern Germany and a father in Berlin who was not close to him. After finishing school in Nuremberg, Roehler moved to Berlin in the 1980s where he did odd jobs and began writing screen plays.

He made his film debut in 1995 and his first breakthrough came in 2000 with ‘No Place to Go’. The film deals with the last days in the life of German writer Hanna Flanders, for whom the fall of the wall was a personal disaster. Roehler won the German Film Prize for his production.

After releasing twelve more films, he went for a different format when he published his first novel, "Herkunft", in 2011. Roehler’s grandparents make an appearance in the book, which is a psychological profile about three generations and provides a picture of post-war Germany.

Rohler now lives with his second wife, fashion designer Alexandra Fischer-Roehler in Berlin.

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