Hanna's Sleeping Dogs by Andreas Gruber

There‘s a very good reason why you should let sleeping dogs lie, as 9-year-old Johanna discovers. Growing up a good Catholic girl in the provincial Austrian town of Wels in the late 1960s, she learns from her grandmother her family‘s secret: they are Jewish. Life now starts to change, uncomfortably so: the caretaker bullies her, the religion teacher ignores her and her traumatised mother stops talking to people. Both older women know exactly who were the very worst Nazis back then. After the war they reinvented themselves as devout Catholics. Johanna, however, is determined not to hide, she wants to be proud of her heritage and now becomes Hanna. But the „sleeping dogs“ are awake, they are starting to bark and they still have their teeth.


HANNA‘S SLEEPING DOGS is based on the novel SCHLAFENDE HUNDE by Elisabeth Escher, in which she recounts her true life experience. Writer-director Andreas Gruber grew up with her in Wels in the 1960s and is thus also personally familiar with the story‘s milieu.

Title Hanna's Sleeping Dogs
Type Complete Lineup
Genre Drama
Category Feature Film
Format DCP
Running Time 120 min

Hannelore Elsner, Nike Seitz,
Franziska Weisz

Directed by Andreas Gruber
Produced by

Enigma Film GmbH, Andreas Gruber, BR, ORF

Nationality Germany, Austria
Original title Hannas schlafende Hunde
Release year 2016


HANNA'S SLEEPING DOGS and FLOWERS OF EVIL awards at the 19th Shanghai IFF

European productions such as Vito Palmieri’s See You in Texas, Antti Jokinen’s Flowers of Evil and more took home awards from the Chinese A-list festival. The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) concluded on 19 June, with awards being handed out at the ceremony held in the Shanghai Grand Theatre. The nine-day festival screened nearly 600 films, attracted more than 300,000 viewers and created a new box-office record of approximately €2.6 million – the highest yet for the festival.