DYING follows the very individual members of the Lunies family, who haven’t been a family for a long time. Lissy (Corinna Harfouch) is quietly happy about her demented husband Gerd (Hans-Uwe Bauer) slowly wasting away in a home. But her new freedom is short-lived: Diabetes, cancer and kidney failure mean that she doesn't have much time left either. Son Tom (Lars Eidinger), a conductor in his early 40s, is working on a composition called ‘Dying’, while at the same time being made the surrogate father of his ex-girlfriend’s child. And Tom's sister Ellen (Lilith Stangenberg) starts an affair with the married Sebastian (Ronald Zehrfeld), with whom she shares a love for alcohol. As Death finally turns up on the doorstep, the estranged family members finally meet again.


Matthias Glasner was born in Hamburg in 1965. In the 90s, he made the hipster trilogy DIE MEDIOCREN, SEXY SADIE and FANDANGO for the cinema, all of which premiered at the Berlinale.

This was followed by the films DER FREIE WILLE (Berlinale Competition), THIS IS LOVE (San Sebastian Competition) and GNADE (Berlinale Competition). 

For television, he has directed the series KDD - KRIMINALDAUERDIENST (Grimme Prize and German Television Prize a.o.) and, as writer and director, the series BLOCHIN - DIE LEBENDEN UND DIE TOTEN, as well as the two-part series LANDGERICHT (Grimme Prize a.o.) based on the novel of the same name and winner of the German Book Prize by Ulrike Krechel. He recently shot the 2nd season of the international series DAS BOOT for SKY.

2024 | Sterben
(Competition Berlinale)

2011 | Gnade
(Competition Berlinale)

2009 | This is Love
(Competition San Sebastián)

2006 | Der freie Wille
(Competition Berlinale)

2000 | Fandango
(Panorama Berlinale)

1996 | Sexy Sadie
(Panorama Berlinale)

1995 | Die Mediocren
(Panorama Berlinale)

T H E   D I R E C T O R

“The hope is in the fact that we are playing it”
(Tom Lunies in the film about the composition "sterben")

I'm sitting in a coffee shop, just a few steps away from our flat. My first child, just born, is waiting for me to push her through the park so that she can finally fall asleep. I want to sleep too, but I can't. I stare out of the window, out onto the street, Schönhauser and Danziger. And I see the ghosts of my parents, who have never been here, standing there in the middle of the traffic. They recently died in quick succession, after a long period of suffering. I want to finally get close to them, which I never managed to do during their lives. And the only way for me to get close to anything or anyone at all is to make a film.

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So I start writing, in the noise of the coffee machines, in this desolate place. I write here for a few hours every day for the next few weeks. At first just about my parents, then I realise that it won't work if I'm not in it myself. So I also write about myself. And then suddenly about everything. About my whole life as I knew it before I found a new family. 

It's an experiment: is it possible to make a film as an approach to oneself, against all dramaturgical rules? A film that doesn't want to be a "product" or "content"? A film that doesn't know itself, that consists of pure atmosphere, that remains in the approximate? A film that doesn't want to prove anything, doesn't even want to claim anything. The series "Seinfeld", which I used to love, comes to mind: "The show about nothing". 

Two months later, 200 pages have been written in this coffee shop, mostly overtired, perhaps a little manic.

Could anyone be interested in the end?

The deal I made with myself is that I will stoically move forward with this project until circumstances stop me. In other words: Until I can't get any more money to continue. Because films always cost money, a lot of money.

But nobody stops me. Producers are found, money is found. Actors want to play my mother, my father, me and all the other characters who are an amalgamation of lived life and a freewheeling imagination, because that's also part of me; my fantasies and fears that arise from the confrontation with the world that I don't understand.

We shoot in a somnambulistic state. We meet in the morning and just start, without rehearsals, suppressing every possible doubt, “without hope, without fear”, as Caravaggio says, just keep going. In search of the magic of the moment that art has in store for you if you open yourself up to it without forcing it. And since we don't take lunch breaks, we eat together every evening and talk a lot, about ourselves, about each other and about the misfortunes of time. And all of this flows into the subconscious of this film, which is like a living organism because we don't "work" for it, we simply LIVE it.

Now it's finished. And the viewer has the opportunity to participate in this flow for a while. To have a life experience. Maybe even make a few friends for life. That's as good as it gets.

Matthias Glasner


Lars Eidinger

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Lars Eidinger, born in Berlin in 1976, studied at the renowned Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. He has been a member of the ensemble at the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin since 1999. His portrayals of Hamlet and Richard III in Thomas Ostermeier's productions have received international acclaim and made him one of the Schaubühne's most influential actors. His most recent theatre roles were Peer Gynt, produced by himself in collaboration with the visual artist John Bock, and Jedermann at the Salzburg Festival (directed by Michael Sturminger). In addition to his stage work, Lars Eidinger has appeared in numerous cinema and television productions, including Everyone Else (director: Maren Ade, 2008), Goltzius & The Pelican Company (director: Peter Greenaway, 2011), Home for the Weekend (director: Hans-Christian Schmid, 2011), Tatort - Borowski und der stille Gast and two further episodes (director: Christian Alvart, 2012; Claudia Garde, 2015; İlker Çatak, 2021), Clouds of Sils Maria (director: Olivier Assayas, 2013), Family Party (director: Lars Kraume, 2014), Personal Shopper (dir: Olivier Assayas, 2015), SS-GB (BBC, dir: Philipp Kadelbach, 2015), Matilda (dir: Alexei Utchitel, 2014/15), The Bloom of Yesterday (dir: Chris Kraus, 2015), the TV series Sense 8 (dir: Lana and Lilly Wachowski), High Life (dir: Claire Denis, 2017), 25 km/h (dir: Markus Goller, 2017), Dumbo (dir: Tim Burton, 2017), Mackie the Knife - Brecht's Threepenny Film (dir: Joachim A. Lang, 2017), Persian Lessons (director: Vadim Perelman, 2018), the TV series Babylon Berlin (directors: Tom Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten, Achim von Borries, 2017 to present), My Little Sister (directors: Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond, 2019) and About Joan with Isabelle Huppert (director: Laurent Larivière, 2020). In 2021, Lars Eidinger made White Noise with Noah Baumbach, a film adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel White Noise - also starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. He can be seen on Netflix in the series All The Light We Cannot See by Shawn Levy. In 2022 he filmed Dying with Matthias Glasner and in 2023 he was in front of the camera for Tom Tykwer's new feature film The Light. In 2021, he made the documentary Lars Eidinger - To Be or Not to Be.

In 2013, Lars Eidinger received the German Film Critics' Award for "Best Actor" and in 2014 the Grimme Award. In 2017, he was once again nominated for the German Television Award in the "Best Actor" category for Terror and Family Party; the latter received the award for "Best Film". In 2018, he received the Austrian Film Award for "Best Male Actor" and was also nominated for the German Film Award for "Best Actor" in The Bloom of Yesterday. In the same year, he was awarded the Ernst Lubitsch Prize for his role in 25 km/h; he also received the Bavarian Film Prize for "Best Actor" for this role in 2020. In 2021, he was nominated for the Romy in the category "Most Popular Actor Film". In 2020, the film My Little Sister was the Swiss entry for the Oscar in the category "Best International Feature Film"; Lars Eidinger received the Golden Linden Award for "Best Actor" for My Little Sister. In addition to his acting career, Lars Eidinger is a musician, photographer and DJ. He lives with his family in Berlin.

Corinna Harfouch

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Corinna Harfouch is one of Germany's most respected actresses. Whether in the cinema, on television or on the theatre stage - for more than 30 years she has captivated audiences with her versatility, passion and profundity. She has been honoured many times for her performances, including the Grimme Prize, German Film Prize, German Acting Prize and Bavarian Film Prize. 

Her filmography of over 100 films includes cinema highlights such as Das Versprechen (1995) by Margarethe von Trotta, Sexy Sadie (1996) by Matthias Glasner, Irren ist männlich (1996) by Sherry Hormann, Bibi Blocksberg (2002) by Hermine Huntgeburth, Der Untergang (2004) by Oliver Hirschbiegel, Im Winter ein Jahr (2008) by Caroline Link, Whisky mit Wodka (2009) by Andreas Dresen, Die Unsichtbare (2011) by Christian Schwochow, Finsterworld (2014) by Frauke Finsterwalder, Fack Ju Göhte 3 (2017) by Bora Dagtekin, Wer hat eigentlich die Liebe erfunden? (2018) by Kerstin Polte and So was von da (2018) by Jakob Lass. Most recently, Corinna Harfouch wowed audiences with her fierce performance as the title character in Jan Ole Gerster's Lara (2019). 

In 2021, she was praised for her leading role in Das Mädchen mit den goldenen Händen by Katharina M. Schubert. She also played the lead role in the Netflix three-parter Zeit der Geheimnisse and was part of the cast of the Prime success series Deutschland 89. She was last seen in the cinema in Max Fey's debut film Zwischen uns (2021), which celebrated its world premiere at the Hof International Film Festival. Corinna Harfouch has also showed her comedic talent in Nadja Brunkhorst's comedy "Alles in bester Ordnung" (2022).

Lilith Stangenberg

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Lilith Stangenberg, born on 14 August 1988 in Berlin, began her acting career at a young age at the Berliner Volksbühne. Due to her performances there, the self-taught actress received engagements at Schauspiel Hannover and Theater Basel (2008/2009) and was a permanent member of the ensemble at Schauspielhaus Zürich (2009-2012).  For her performances there, she was honoured as Young Actress of the Year by the trade journal "Theater heute" in 2010. From 2012-2017, Stangenberg was a member of the ensemble at the Volksbühne Berlin, where she worked with Frank Castorf, René Pollesch and Christoph Marthaler, among others. In recent years, she has also appeared in front of the camera for various film projects. She shone in the lead role in the feature film WILD by Nicolette Krebitz, for which she received the "Acting Award of the Günter Rohrbach Film Prize" and the "German Film Critics' Award for Best Actress" in 2016. She has also appeared in other cinema films such as Family Idiots (director: Michael Klier), The People VS Fritz Bauer (director: Lars Kraume), I Was at Home, But... (director: Angela Schanelec), BLOODSUCKES by Julian Radlmaier. Internationally, she has worked with the Filipino punk arthouse filmmaker Khavn (LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL and MAKAMISA) and with the US artist Paul McCarthy (NV/ Night Father and A&E).

In 2020, Lilith Stangenberg was honoured with the "Ulrich Wildgruber Prize for the Promotion of Young Actors". In his laudatory speech, filmmaker Alexander Kluge emphasised Stangenberg's "courage to push artistic boundaries and the unconditional nature of her work". The two had made the experimental feature film ORPHEA together, which premiered at the 2020 Berlinale. In the same year, she appeared in Frank Castorf's AUS DEM BÜRGERLICHEN HELDENLEBEN at Schauspielhaus Köln and in Jonathan Meese's play "LOLITA (R)evolution (Rufschädigenst) ihr Alle seid die Lolita eurer Selbst!" at Schauspiel Dortmund and Volkstheater Wien.

In 2021, Lilith Stangenberg played the young wife of John Malkovich in SENECA. In 2022, she opened the season at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg with Paul McCarthy in the performance "A&E/Adam & Eve / Adolf & Eva" and performed NV / Night Vater with Paul McCarthy at the Vokstheater Wien.

In 2023, Lilith Stangenberg appeared in the cinema film EUROPA, which was directed by Sudabeh Mortezai and shot in Albania.

In the same year, she also appeared in the feature film "DYING", directed by Matthias Glasner, which will premiere in competition at the 74th Berlinale in 2024. In 2023, Lilith Stangenberg celebrated her premiere as 'Antigone' in the play of the same name ANTIGONE, directed by Karin Beier at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg.


Lars Eidinger
as Tom Lunies

Corinna Harfouch
as Lissy Lunies

Lilith Stangenberg
as Ellen Lunies

Ronald Zehrfeld
as Sebastian Vogel

Robert Gwisdek
as Bernard

Anna Bederke
as Liv

Hans-Uwe Bauer
as Gerd Lunies

Saskia Rosendahl
as Ronja


Writer & director: Matthias Glasner
DoP: Jakub Bejnarowicz
Production Design: Tamo Kunz
Costume Design: Sabine Keller
Makeup-Artist: Tatjana Krauskopf
Editing: Heike Gnida
Composer: Lorenz Dangel
Sound: Christoph Schilling, Stefan Schmahl
Supervising Sound Designer: Christoph Walter
Sound Designer: Nils Vogel-Bartling
Re-recording Mixer: Stefan Korte
Casting: Liza Stutzky
Producer: Jan Krüger, Ulf Israel, Matthias Glasner


Original title: Sterben
International title: Dying
Duration: 180 min
Aspect Ratio: 2.33:1
Format: DCP
Sound: 5.1
Year: 2024
Original language: German
Country of production: Germany
Production Companies: Port au Prince Film & Kultur Produktion GmbH, Schwarzweiss Filmproduktion GmbH, Senator Film Produktion GmbH, ZDF / arte
With the support of: Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Film- und Fernsehfonds Bayern, Nordmedia, BKM, FFA, DFFF 


Simone Devlin, Chloe Wan