Whether he is gracing the big screen or your television screen, Stipe Erceg can be difficult to miss. With his gaunt and chiseled features surrounding deep-set eyes, the actor is memorable before he has even spoken a word. You may already know Erceg for his roles in English language thrillers such as Unknown, starring Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger, or The Fourth State, starring Moritz Bleibtreu.
But Stipe Erceg made his mark on (and in!) German cinema with roles in such films as The Edukators, Baader Meinhof Complex and Hell. This month, I am featuring actor Stipe Erceg as the German language film recommendations for German language learners.
About Stipe Erceg
What helps to set Stipe Erceg apart in the German film industry is his background. Stipe Erceg was born on October 30, 1974, in what was then Yugoslavia and today is Croatia. As a young four-year-old child, his parents moved the family to the German city of Tübingen. It is there that he grew up and attended school.
In the late 1990s, Erceg studied acting at the Europäisches Theaterinstitut Berlin as well as in Italy.
His work in acting began in 1998 as part of a theater production in Berlin. A few years later, a role in a short film followed. But his big break came with 2004’s Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei.
Today, Erceg, his wife, and their family reside in the German capital.
The Edukators (Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei)
In The Edukators, Jan (Daniel Brühl) and his friend Peter (Erceg) are anti-capitalist activists who break into wealthy homes. They aren’t there to steal anything but to help shake up the lives of the rich and indulgent.
Peter’s girlfriend, Jule (Julia Jentsch), convinces them to break into the home of a wealthy businessman whose car she crashed into and now is in debt to in order to pay restitution. The plan goes bad though when the businessman comes home during the break-in. With no other option, the trio abducts the man and head into the mountains to lay low and figure out what to do.
The film explores the culture of capitalism in everyday life while Jan and Jule get closer.
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Der Baader Meinhof Komplex)
In the late 1960s and 1970s, a leftist militant group called the Red Army Faction terrorized Germany. It was only in the late 1990s that the group finally ended. A book, by journalist Stefan Aust documenting the group’s history and exploits, serves as the basis for the film by director Uli Edel.
Moritz Bleibtreu and Martina Gedeck star as RAF group leaders Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, respectively, while Johanna Wokalek is co-founder Gudrun Ensslin. Erceg portrays RAF member Holger Meins. Tom Schilling also is in the star-studded cast as RAF member Josef Bachmann.
While not completely historically accurate (it is a film, after all), it’s still a fascinating look at an important time in Germany’s post-WWII history when revolution was a hot topic.
The 2011 horror film Hell is the directorial debut from Tim Fehlbaum. Set in 2016 in a post-apocalyptic Germany, the earth’s atmosphere has been destroyed and temperatures have increased significantly. So significantly that travel during the daytime, under the hot sun, is dangerous. Marie (portrayed by Hannah Herzsprung), her sister Leonie (Lisa Vicari), and Marie’s boyfriend (Lars Eidinger) are traveling across Germany.
Erceg stars as Tom, a mechanic, who joins up with them. But the story takes a turn when a family with a slaughterhouse takes the group hostage.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German-language actors and actresses previously featured.
Top photo by Nadja Klier, courtesy Above the Line. This post contains affiliate links.