Q&A with Bernhard Schlink
Q: Your novel deals with the idea of the legacies we are left and how we grapple with the consequences afterward. You wrote, "The pain I went through because of my love for Hanna was, in a way, the fate of my generation, a German fate." How do you feel about the movie interpretation of this theme?
A: I really like the movie, and I think everyone involved in the movie did a great job [with this theme]. The focus of the movie is more on Hanna than it was in the book, which was on Michael, and certainly there are many good reasons for that. You have this powerful actress, Kate Winslet, while Michael is represented by two different actors, so there is less identification for the viewer as a result. Also, I think they were more interested in talking about her than him. Still, I think the second-generation situation comes out pretty well.