The man who knew 75 languages

Documentary work

"Mannen som kunne 75 språk" | Documentary | 81 minutes

This film is about the remarkable life of a poor priest's son, Georg Julius Justus Sauerwein (born 1831 in Hanover, died 1904 in Christiania/Oslo), and his lifelong love for Princess Elisabeth of Wied, later Queen of Romania.

As a young man, he was invited to the court to be her tutor, and helped her develop her artistic gifts immensely as such. Their friendship, along with his increased affection for her, could not be tolerated, and he was banished from the royal court.

Pining for Elisabeth, he put all his energy into fighting for minorities and their right to speak their native languages. In his day, he was the most vilified person in the German press, seen as a traitor to the German empire. Elisabeth later became the first Queen of Romania. Georg and Elisabeth stayed in touch by sending each other letters, books and articles.

The technique used in the film is known as rotoscoping. We have worked with a number of well-known Lithuanian actors to bring the people connected to Georg Sauerwein to life. Fumi Studio animated these characters at their offices in Poland, placing them on realistic backgrounds shot in Romania, Norway, Lithuania, Germany and England.

Script: Leiv Igor Devold and Anne Magnussen


  • Honorable mention at Nordic film days in Lübeck, Germany

Tags Animation