Heart of Stone by Johannes Naber

Peter and Lisbeth are two young but unfortunate lovers living in a rigid rural community in the Black Forest. She comes from a wealthy family of glassblowers; he is a poor coal worker on the lower end of society. To become rich and respected, Peter makes a pact with a devil named Dutch Michael, who rips out his heart and replaces it with a stone. Robbed of all warmth and feeling, Peter becomes a cold-hearted go-getter who rapidly achieves his goals. Ruthlessly he strives for money and power. But Lisbeth no longer recognizes Peter as the man she once loved and turns against him. There is only one way for him to put things straight: Peter must get his heart back.


HEART OF STONE is based on a dark fairy tale written by Wilhelm Hauff and first published in 1827. It tells a poetic love story set against the mysterious backdrop of the Black Forest. Hauff’s tale was conceived as a criticism of man’s greed for power; it also condemns the exploitation of nature and the abuse of fellow human beings. Johannes Naber translates this timeless parable into an emotional story tailored to today’s audiences. HEART OF STONE is the second collaboration between Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv and Studio Babelsberg after their 2012 film IN DARKNESS, which received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category.


Title Heart of Stone
Type Complete Lineup
Genre Fantasy, Adventure
Category Feature Film
Format DCP
Running Time 119 min

Frederick Lau
Henriette Confurius
David Schütter
Moritz Bleibtreu
Milan Peschel
Sebastian Blomberg
Roeland Wiesnekker
André Hennicke
Jule Böwe
Lars Rudolph

Directed by Johannes Naber
Produced by

Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv
Studio Babelsberg, Philipp Filmproduction
SWR, ARD, Degeto, MDR

Nationality Germany
Original title Das kalte Herz
Release year 2016


Moritz Bleibtreu Plays the Devil in Picture Tree’s ‘Heart of Stone’

Berlin-based Picture Tree Intl. has taken world sales rights to dark fairy-tale “Heart of Stone” which stars Frederick Lau (“Victoria”), Henriette Confurius (“Beloved Sisters”) and Moritz Bleibtreu (“Woman in Gold,” “Run Lola Run”), who plays the devil. The film, which is helmed by Johannes Naber (“Age of Cannibals”), is based on Wilhelm Hauff’s 1827 love story set in a rigid, rural community in the Black Forest. It centers on poor charcoal burner Peter (Lau) who needs to become rich in order to marry Lisbeth (Confurius), and makes a pact with the devil (Bleibtreu). Hauff’s tale was conceived of as a criticism of men’s greed for power and the exploitation of nature and people.