Published in 1939, landowners and right-wing national forces lobbied for this novel to be banned. Never before had a book incensed the American public in such a way. Steinbeck relentlessly exposed the misery of the farmers who left their homeland Oklahoma due to high rents in time of the »Great Depression«. They were drawn to the dream of finding a better future in California. Hundreds of thousands journeyed along the famous Route 66, suffering every step of the way from hunger, exploitation and xenophobia.
In the book of John Steinbeck, it is the Joad family that has to endure this fate, until finally the youngest son commits a murder and decides to fight for the rights of the migrants. In a kind of fictional report, the author, who himself accompanied refugees as they searched for a better life, credibly describes how people are made beggars. His own parents fled Europe searching for a better life in America, the land of the free. His parable story about the struggle for dignity in undignified times remains highly relevant even today.

Premiere 27 March 2020