Director Marco Kreuzpaintner adapts author Otfried Preußler's award-winning novel about a young sorcerer's apprentice who rebels against his malevolent master after making a disturbing discovery. The year is 1646. Krabat is a starving fourteen year old orphan from Germany who has struggled for survival after seeing his country decimated by war and disease.
One night, a strange voice calls out to Krabat in his dreams, beckoning the destitute child to a mysterious mill in the countryside. When the miller offers Krabat room and board in exchange for becoming an apprentice, the hungry young boy readily accepts. But something isn't quite right in this mill, and Krabat can sense it.
He gradually begins to suspect that the eleven other young men who live in the mill are harboring a mysterious secret, suspicions that are later confirmed when the curious newcomer discovers that his fellow apprentices are involved with some truly bizarre activities.
Upon further inquiry, Krabat discovers that the miller is in fact a master of the dark arts, and that the young men who reside in the mill are his students. Fascinated by their magic and eager to belong, Krabat accepts their invitation to become a member of their secret society.
When Krabat discovers that his new master's plans could spell doom for his protector and best friend Tonda, however, realizes that in order to save Tonda he will somehow have to break free of the malevolent sorcerer's powerful grip.