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Seneca – On The Creation Of Earthquakes

Schwentke‘s new film SENECA, revolves around the Roman philosopher who was the teacher and mentor of young emperor Nero for some years and later died due to his proximity to power.


Is there a connection between the Nazi era and ancient Rome? “Opportunism“ might be Robert Schwentke‘s answer. Schwentke made DER HAUPTMANN a few years ago, the best film of his career. The plot revolves around a simple soldier who finds the uniform of a captain by chance and slips into a new role and quickly exploits his position.

Schwentke‘s new film SENECA is about the Roman philosopher who was the teacher and mentor of young emperor Nero for some years. Seneca was royally rewarded for his work and could afford a luxurious life that had little to do with the renunciation and asceticism that he recommended in his writing. Most of all, Seneca helped the emperor consolidate his power, which was notoriously the most excessive in a very excessive time. In five, six longer sequences, that give SENECA the form of a stage piece, Schwentke depicts the life and times of the philosopher, who John Malkovich plays as a vain man who is very enamored with himself and his thoughts. But when Nero commands his former teacher to take his own life – Seneca was allegedly informed about the plot against Nero – the stoic philosopher is suddenly less confident. Similar to the captain, Seneca has also played with fire, profited from power, and now he has to pay the price for his opportunism. Schwentke set his morality play in the relentlessly sunny Morocco. Seneca‘s endlessly extended death struggle takes place in a kind of prison where Seneca is without his loved ones, and his beautiful words find a miserable end.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Seneca – On The Creation Of Earthquakes
Deutschland/Marokko 2022, 112 min
Language: English
Genre: Historical Film, Drama
Director: Robert Schwentke
Author: Robert Schwentke, Matthew Wilder
DOP: Benoît Debie
Music: Martin Todsharow
Distributor: Weltkino
Cast: John Malkovich, Tom Xander, Geraldine Chaplin, Louis Hofmann, Lilith Stangenberg, Mary-Louise Parker
FSK: 16
Release: 23.03.2023



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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