The Tobacconist


Monday, April 29, 2019
7 PM @ Ritz East

Buy Tickets Here

General Admission: $15 | Seniors: $13 | *Students: $7

*Because student ID is required, student tickets may only be purchased in-person.

PLEASE NOTE: Advance sales for this film are sold out. However, if you do not have a ticket and still wish to see the movie, arrive at the Ritz East by 6:15 PM to be entered into our rush line. At 7 PM, any empty seats will be released to patrons waiting to purchase tickets in the rush line. Please note that rush line tickets are cash only.

If you have already purchased a ticket or are a Sponsor or All-Access Pass Holder, we strongly encourage you to get to the theater early to secure your seat. Empty seats will be released to the rush line at 7 PM.

Director: Nikolaus Leytner
Genre: Narrative Feature
Country: Austria/Germany
Year: 2018
Running Time: 1 hr 57 min
Language: In German and Czech with English subtitles

Sponsored by: Barbara and Mickey Black; Dan and Cathy Kaufman; Harvey and Jan Schwartz

Philadelphia Premiere
Based on the best-selling novel by Robert Seethaler, THE TOBACCONIST follows a young man’s sexual and spiritual awakening amidst escalating violence and anti-Semitism on the eve of Hitler’s takeover of Vienna.

Envisioning a better life for her child, Franz’s mother sends her son to Vienna to apprentice in an old friend’s smoke shop. Under the tutelage of Otto (Johannes Krisch), a disabled war vet whose reputation for selling goods to communists and Jews has made him more than a few enemies, Franz (Simon MorzéŽ) discovers the secrets to being a good tobacconist. Learning to read the desires of Otto’s most favored patrons, Franz endears himself to clients whose vices include procuring fine cigars and sneaking dirty magazines. One of Otto’s regulars, the world-renowned psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (the late great Bruno Ganz, Wings of Desire, Downfall), takes a liking to the ambitious 17-year-old and does not mind offering him guidance. Admitting that the female sex remains as elusive as it was when he was a boy, Freud encourages Franz to pursue Anezka (Emma Drogunova), the beautiful and mysterious young woman who haunts his dreams. However, with the city on the brink of war and his new friend in imminent danger, the dramas that shroud his thoughts and overcome his dreams are soon swept up into the much darker maelstrom of events shaking the foundations of Europe and the world.

Special Guests:

  • Emily Kuriloff | Director of Clinical Education at the William Alanson White Institute

Come dine with us before the movie at FRIEDA!
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Official Selection:

  • JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival
  • Miami Jewish Film Festival
  • New York Jewish Film Festival
  • Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival


  • “The film expertly captures the tensions in the Austrian capital on the eve of Hitler’s takeover, and it also manages to be a vibrant coming-of-age story and an intriguing portrayal of Sigmund Freud, expertly portrayed by Bruno Ganz.” (Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter)
  • “A coming-of-age narrative set against the backdrop of impending war, The Tobacconist walks the line between the personal and the political with varying degrees of confidence.” (Nikki Baughan, Screen International)