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Everything must change, thought Hermann Hesse.

In the spring of 1919, he packed his bags and left for Ticino. The horror of the First World War had thrown him off course. The poet hoped that the climate and light of the south would give him a new lease on life and creative energy beyond the confines of bourgeois conventions. With the story Klingsors letzter Sommer (Klingsor’s Last Summer), Hesse wrote himself into a summer-long intoxication that was unprecedented for him. At the precipice, however, doom and death await. – Klingsor is a painter and Hesse’s alter ego: “I was not Hesse, I was Klingsor.”

Heinz Bütler’s essay film is dedicated to what is perhaps the busiest and most ardent period in Hesse’s life.
While actor Peter Simonischek reads excerpts from Klingsors letzter Sommer, the poet and his alter ego are also brought to life with remarkable linguistic skill by literary experts such as Sibylle Lewitscharoff.

  • Duration


  • Director

    Heinz Bütler

  • Release

    09 / 2020

  • Production

    HOOK Film in collaboration with Xanadu Film

  • Cast

    Peter Simonischek, Sibylle Lewitscharoff, Silver Hesse, Michael Limberg, Alain Claude Sulzer, Daniel Behle (Tenor), Oliver Schnyder (Klavier)

  • Festivals

    Master of Art Film Festival 2021 (Winner Best Documentary in Literature) | Zurich Film Festival 2020 (Special Screenings)

The DVD with a comprehensive booklet plus QR code for a 4K stream is available for purchase at Bider&Tanner.