The Expert at the Card Table

In search of history's most elusive card magician

The Expert at the Card Table S.W. Erdnase… The pseudonym of the most notorious hustler of the 19th century. His true identity is still unknown, and makes for a mystery which leaves even the best illusionists in the dark. Today his book “The Expert at The Card Table” is known as the bible of card magic. The greatest magicians of the present set out on a journey to search for the lost genius. They tell stories that make your blood run cold. Even though there seems to be no proof for any of the countless myths and legends surrounding the writer, the search makes one realise the true value of his work.

The Expert at the Card Table (2022) on IMDb

Festivals and Awards

LaurelLos Angeles International Film Festival | Official Selection 2022

The Producers

Hans-Joachim Brucherseifer – Director

After his time as an enlisted Forward Observer in the US Army, Andrew has spent the last decade working as a humanitarian & filmmaker in sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently, he was the producer (p.g.a.), cinematographer & editor of KIFARU (Audience Award at Full Frame, Grand Jury Winner at Slamdance). As the producer of KIFARU, Andrew secured exclusive access to the story of Sudan - the last northern white rhino male in existence - allowing the crew to capture the story of extinction in real-time for the first time in history. As the editor for KIFARU, he was nominated by Jackson Wild for Best Editing. Prior to that, Andrew spent three years building relationships within northern Kenya’s poaching network, unveiling the intricacies of the illegal ivory trade as the producer of WHEN LAMBS BECOME LIONS (Best Editing, Tribeca Film Festival); a recipient of Sundance’s Documentary Production Grant in 2017. Andrew was also a member of the 2022 Points North Fellowship.

Theresa Worm – Screenwriter

Theresa Worm was born in 1994 near Kaiserslautern, a small town in southwest Germany. She completed various internships in the film and television industry and during her Bachelor of Arts studies in Motion Pictures at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences she increasingly concentrated on writing screenplays and providing dramaturgical advice for various graduation films. She completed her studies in 2018 with a complete series concept, the pilot of which could be realized. Since September 2018 she has been deepening her interests at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, specializing in screenwriting.

Making The Film

Directors' Statement
I spent seven years of my life learning magic tricks from a book which is known as the bible of card magic. It was first published in 1902. Today it is regarded as one of the most important treasures of knowledge in the world of magic. When I passed the entry test for the Magic Circle of Germany at the age of 19 I started looking for information about the author. I was eager to find out more about the genius behind this book but until today his identity has remained unclear. Through my research I became aware of many fascinating stories connected to the subject. They are the core of this documentary and are all based on true events.

The film is aimed at both, magicians who are already familiar with the story about Erdnase and everybody with a general interest in illusions. The viewers are offered a look behind the scenes of historical and contemporary magic. Thereby I hope to get to the bottom of human curiosity and raises a question of conscience: What is better – being ignorant and fascinated or being enlightened and disenchanted? The creation of legends is another key element of my documentary. Erdnase is a perfect example for how people assign meaning to stories or persons, despite having very limited information about them. Therefore, I wish to encourage the viewer to question what they believe to know about their own role models.

Hans-Joachim Brucherseifer, Director

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