The German Doctor

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The German Doctor
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lucía Puenzo
Produced by Lucía Puenzo
Written by Lucía Puenzo
Based on Wakolda 
by Lucía Puenzo
Starring Àlex Brendemühl
Natalia Oreiro
Diego Peretti
Music by Daniel Tarrab
Andrés Goldstein
Cinematography Nicolás Puenzo
Edited by Hugo Primero
Distributed by Distribution Company
Samuel Goldwyn Films (USA)
Release dates
  • 22 May 2013 (2013-05-22) (Cannes)
  • 19 September 2013 (2013-09-19) (Argentina)
Running time 94 minutes
Country Argentina
Language Spanish

The German Doctor (Spanish: Wakolda) is a 2013 Argentine historical drama film directed, produced and written by Lucía Puenzo. Based on Puenzo's novel Wakolda (2011),[1] the film stars Àlex Brendemühl as the Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele,[2] infamous for performing human experiments in the Auschwitz concentration camp. It also stars Florencia Bado, Natalia Oreiro, Diego Peretti, Elena Roger and Guillermo Pfening.[3]


Set in 1960, the film depicts Mengele during his exile in South America. Having adopted a new identity, he moves into a Patagonian hotel run by German-speaking Eva and her husband Enzo, and becomes particularly interested in their daughter Lilith. Having won the family's trust, Mengele finds a reawakened interest in human genetics research.



It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[4] The film was selected as the Argentine entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards,[5][6][7] but it was not nominated.


The film received positive reviews from critics. It currently holds a 73% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 59 reviews, with an average score of 5.7/10. The site's consensus reads, "The German Doctor applies a refreshing level of restraint to its intriguing premise, and boasts solid performances from a talented cast."

Awards and nominations[edit]

Group Award Result
66th Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard Nominated
Saint Petersburg International Film Festival Audience Prize Won
2nd Unasur Cine International Film Festival[8] Best New Actress Won
Best Actress Won
Best Director Won
Best Feature Film Won
San Sebastián International Film Festival Horizontes Nominated
Films from the South Festival Best Feature Nominated
35th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema[9] Best Director Won
Special Jury Award Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Debruge, Peter. "Cannes Film Review: ‘Wakolda’". Variety. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  2. ^ ""Wakolda", the film about Mengele in Argentina, chosen as Oscar precandidate". Yahoo! News Spain (in Spanish). 27 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cast". Wakolda official website. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Oscars: Argentina Nominates 'Wakolda' for Foreign Language Oscar". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  6. ^ "Argentina Chooses ‘German Doctor’ (aka ‘Wakolda’) for Oscar Race". Variety. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  7. ^ "Argentina Calls On ‘The German Doctor’ As Foreign Language Oscar Entry". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  8. ^ "Unasur Cine 2013 winners" (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Premios Corales-35 Festival" (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 September 2013. 

External links[edit]