based on the screenplay by Herbert Achternbusch
«Will the future see the downfall of the factories as equally necessary as the castles are a sign of required change for us?»
Rising sea levels, forests dying and even the two world wars were supposedly predicted by the woodland prophet Mühlhiasl, who apparently lived near Straubing during the 16th century and went down in legends of the Bavarian forest as a local Nostradamus. The dramatist, filmmaker and poet Herbert Achternbusch makes use of this legend to write about a society that is determined to preserve prosperity by any means necessary: the entire village lives off the local manufacturers’ fame for making ruby glass – however the master glassmaker who just passed away took the recipe to the grave with him. The cowherd Hias, who is hastily summoned for help, confirms the clairvoyant faculties attributed to him by arriving before he has even been called for. Spurred on by his gloomy forecasts on one hand and the tyrannical glassworks owner Goldfinger on the other, the entire village ends up in turmoil and is soon prepared to sacrifice the peace of its soul for wealth.
«Heart of Glass», filmed in 1976 by Werner Herzog, combines a portrait of a village society with a broader view of civilisation in the spirit of the environmental movement which was starting to mobilise at the time: Achternbusch tells of industrialisation as a human age ultimately driven by egotism that made its spurious calculations without considering the mighty powers of nature – a perspective that current prognoses only underline. The director Elsa-Sophie Jach adapts Achternbusch’s screenplay for the stage and makes her debut in Munich.