The Council of Birds

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    The Council of Birds

    Zerrumpelt Herz

    Directed by



    80 min

    • German

    Period drama

    1929. Music teacher Paul Leinert receives an unexpected letter from his friend Otto Schiffmann, a young and talented composer who has moved away from Berlin after a failed marriage. The letter is an invitation for Paul to come and visit Otto in his forest cabin - and to get to know his new work, a long-awaited symphony. Taking along his wife Anna as well as his colleague Willi, the three find Otto’s cabin, but their host is nowhere to be seen. As they go looking for him the next day, Paul notices something odd about the song of the local birds . . .


    • Best Director (Timm Kröger) - Belgrade IFF



    Thorsten Wien
    Eva Maria Jost
    Daniel Krauss
    Christian Blümel
    Andreas Conrad
    Theo Leutert
    Roderick Warich
    Timm Kröger
    Roland Stuprich
    Jann Anderegg
    John Gürtler

    Director's Statement

    The story is simple, and we wrote it stemming from fragments in an old diary of my grand-cousin Wilhelm Krück (who also appears in the film as Willi, a dégagé bystander and witness to what happened in that forest in 1929 - whatever it was that actually happened). The exact location of Otto’s cabin remains unknown, & mystery surrounds the person of the composer himself whom history seems to have forgotten entirely. There is thus more fiction than real fact in this film, but what fascinated me about the scenes and atmospheres that formed in my head was exactly that: they were small leftovers, shadows from history. An ominous story where nothing much happens but which changes all who are in it. In its vague ambivalence between romantic, sometimes ironic pathos (“Heimatfilm” ) and genuine (subdued) drama, I wanted to make a film about the search for the strange and elusive thing that is inspiration; the subject of a powerful creative potential lingering in the air which is by turns euphorizing and maddening and buried deep within a dark (and very German) forest.

    Timm Kröger

    Timm Kröger


    Born 1985 in Itzehoe, northern Germany. Timm began his studies at the European Film College in Ebeltoft, Denmark where he also spent a year as teacher’s assistant. Following an internship at ARRI Rental in Munich, he studied Cinematography & Documentary Film at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. Timm works as author, director and cinematographer. THE COUNCIL OF BIRDS is his first feature film.