SYNOPSIS
Stella Goldschlag (photo: Ullstein Bilderdienst) 

Stella Goldschlag

(photo: Ullstein Bilderdienst) 

A thriller based on the best seller, Stella, by Peter Wyden. This may be one of the only untold true stories set in Berlin during WW11. It’s a story of ultimate choice. It’s a story that addresses one of the most profound and difficult questions of the 20th Century and a question anyone could ask themselves today: What would I do to survive?

Stella was a glamorous, young Jewish woman trapped in Berlin during the War who collaborated with the Gestapo so that she and her family could live. Her young Jewish lover became a resistance fighter. Her circle of friends went underground. Stella was the predator, they her potential victims.

Stella, the most infamous ‘catcher’ in Berlin, was known as the “blonde ghost.”

Script, Preliminary Budget and scouted locations on DVD also available.

THE CATCHER IN CONTEXT
Stella Goldschlag with two fellow catchers

Stella Goldschlag with two fellow catchers

This may be one of the only as yet untold stories set in Berlin during the War. It’s a thriller and a love story. It’s a story of ultimate choice. It’s a story that addresses one of the most profound and difficult questions of our time. A question anyone could ask themselves today. What will you do to survive?

The central character is a ‘Catcher’ and not just any Catcher but the most infamous Catcher in Berlin. Her name is Stella and she was known as the Blonde Ghost. By now you’re probably wondering what a Catcher is since a story about catchers has not been told.  A catcher is a Jew who was caught by the Gestapo then enlisted or persuaded, sometimes by torture, to seek out and turn in other Jews in hiding.

In the beginning of the War there were about 15,000 Jews in Berlin living an underground life, many with false identities, many passing as Aryan, none wearing stars. At the end of the War, there were about 1500 left. The rest were caught and sent to camps and most were caught by the catchers themselves. This story is based on the book Stella by Peter Wyden and is a very well known book in Germany.

Yes, Stella is an anti hero but she is surrounded by a cast of characters whose paths she crosses from childhood until the end of the War–characters who made other choices. These characters are her childhood friends, acquaintances, lovers, and work mates in forced labor.  We get to know them all.  The film investigates choice and denial–in extremis. And what can happen when the 2 collide.

Stella during questioning at police headquarters Alexanderplatz, 1946 (photo: pressebilderdienst kindermann) 

Stella during questioning at police headquarters Alexanderplatz, 1946

(photo: pressebilderdienst kindermann) 

The writer/filmmaker, Donna Deitch, optioned the book 6 years ago and has used her free time (while not directing) making trips to Berlin and New York, tracking down people in the book who are still alive. Some of the characters in the script may have had only 2 or 3 lines about them in the book. Donna spent time with them getting to know them to create their supporting characters–the characters who interact with Stella–whose own lives are at her mercy.

Stella was one of the most beautiful women in Berlin. A gorgeous blond, she was known as the Marilyn Monroe of the Goldschmidt School. Stella is among the most dimensional and challenging female characters written for the screen.

The recent successes of ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and ‘The Pianist’ ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and others have shown that there is an avid interest among the public, the festivals and the critics in WW 11 era stories.  The third year of the Academy Awards in 1930, Best Picture was given to a WW11 film, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ and the era has been at the heart of best picture films ever since including ‘Mrs Minever’ ’42,  ‘Casablanca” ’43, ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’ ’46, ‘From Here to Eternity’ ’53, ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ ’57, ‘Patton’ ’70, ‘Schindler’s List’ ’93, ‘The English Patient” ’96.

‘The Catcher’ has what it takes to make its mark on the world cinema. This is a war story, a love story, a thriller, a character study, a page turner of a script.