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Mixing elements of narrative, experimental, pseudo-documentary and essayist cinema, Sophisticated Acquaintance tells the story of a tormented individual whose short life and long death were affected by a great many factors. Klaus Mann (John Gross), a present-day Philadelphia avatar of the real-life European author of Mephisto, lives in the shadow of his father, the eminent intellectual, novelist and Nobel Laureate Thomas Mann (Ernst Hohmann). When Klaus pens a controversial essay on "revolutionary suicide" and then acts on it, in protest of the world's selfishness, a group of his contemporaries speak up in filmed interviews about what led him down that path. It is a film about the creative process, the tragic depiction of a strained father-son relationship and, most of all, it is a film about individuality.