‘We’re in uncharted territory’: Oscars on edge after Harvey Weinstein scandal

Suicide always remains a secret, the unknown bit beyond all reasons and explanations,” says Maria Schrader, the German actor best known in Britain for her role as ruthless, wicked but captivating Stasi agent Lenora Rauch in Channel 4’s spy drama Deutschland 83. She is talking about the subject of the Oscar-nominated film she has directed, Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe. The Viennese Jewish writer fled his homeland in 1934 with the rise of Hitler to London, Bath, New York and ultimately Petrópolis, a mountain town 40-odd miles north of Rio de Janeiro that had become home to a colony of German exiles. It was at his Brazilian home on 23 February 1942 that the 60-year-old Zweig and his second wife Lotte, 33 years his junior, were found by their gardener and housekeeper curled up dead together in bed after taking a barbiturate overdose.

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