A Brief History of Zumbrowka, Wes Anderson’s Fictional Republic
By Lenny Pierce on January 29, 2014
In preparation for the release of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (which hits theaters on March 7th), Fox Searchlight has created an educational website on the film’s fictional setting, the central European Republic of Zumbrowka, and its crown jewel, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The Grand Budapest Hotel tells the story of Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) the concierge at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel, and his trusted lobby boy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) in the time between the World Wars. We follow these companions as they attempt to recover a priceless Renaissance painting and secure a massive family fortune, all through a most tumultuous chapter of Zumbrowkian history.
The first lesson provided in the academic materials is “The Invention of Tourism: An Analysis of Economic Conditions”, in which you learn about the financial climate of Zumbrowka following World War I, as well as a timeline of events in the Zumbrowkian hotel industry during said period.
The following lesson, “The Lutz School: Beaux Arts, Literature, and Cultural Revolution” reviews noteworthy Zumbrowkian milestones within the humanities, including Johannes van Hoytle The Younger’s famous painting “Boy With Apple”.
The final lesson, “Contributing Factors of Government Decline and Military Occupation” covers the tumultuous political climate of 1932 Zumbrowka and is complete with the famous headline from October 13th of that year, “WILL THERE BE WAR?” If only the Zumbrowkians of 1932 knew their fate. But alas, fictional history marches on…
The detail of the website makes it a wholly convincing calling card for an actual country. I won’t be disclosing how far I got in planning a trip before realizing Zumbrowka doesn’t exist. (Pretty far.)
Which cast member are you most excited to see act out the intricate history of Zumbrowka? Tell us in the comment section below.