1809 - Die Freiheit des Adlers (The freedom of the eagle) is a film about last two year of Andreas Hofer’s life. It was shot in a variety of locations, from Alto Adige (particularly in Val d'Ultimo and Glorenza) to Tyrol and Mantova, with a cast of about 30 actors and 1,600 extras needed to shoot the historical battles between the Tyrolese and French. The direction is by Xaver Schwarzenberger and screenplay by Felix Mitterer, based on a work by the same writer.
The film deals with the enthralling and eventful life of the South-Tyrolese hero Andreas Hofer, and with the proud peasant people who with all their strength struggle for their independence, making themselves the target of the dominant powers. In1809 the hideout of this once much acclaimed popular hero was discovered: Hofer was first arrested and then executed. At that time, the Vienna newspapers did not even announce his death: there was more important news to write about such as the imminent wedding between Napoleon and Marie-Louise, daughter of the Austrian Emperor. The film deals not only with the brave fighter but also with the man, his rise, his decline, his desperation and his humility that made him an outstanding hero of the 19th century.
Xaver Schwarzenberger was born in Vienna in 1946. He is an Austrian cameraman, photo-reporter and film-maker.
After completing his studies and military service, he started work as a cameraman with production companies specialising in documentary film, and later with television programmes. In 1980 he moved to Munich where he worked as a film-maker in Berlin Alexanderplatz by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
In 1998 he received the Goldene Romy award for best direction for Krambambuli.
His wide filmography includes: Der stille Ozean (1982), Donauwalzer (1984), Gewitter im Mai (1987), Die Nacht der Nächte (1994), Lovers (1995), Lamorte (1996), Fever (1998), Edelweiss (2001), Ein Hund kam in die Küche (2002), Eine Liebe in Afrika (2003), Dinner for Two (2003), Muttis Liebling (2006), Feine Dame (2006), Mein süßes Geheimnis (2006) and Copacabana (2007).