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German Dynasties

The House of Faber-Castell

ARD / BR, 2013, 45 minutes

The hexagonal, dark green pencil, imprinted with the golden lettering “Faber-Castell 9000” is a classic. For 252 years, children have been learning to write with these pencils, clerks calculate with them, artists and writers swear by the graphite instruments – formerly van Gogh and Goethe, today Neo Rauch and Cornelia Funke.

The dynasty of the Faber-Castells is deeply rooted in the history of the Germans. Their 252 years give witness of the Enlightenment and the rise of Germany to industrial power, of revolutions and wars, of pioneering spirit and globalization. They speak of people forced to cope with blows of fate and who fought for their love – of men and women who ventured out into the world, while always preserving their ties to their Franconian home. The history of the Faber-Castells is a family epos that scarcely anyone knows.