Die Frau und der Fremde

The Woman and the Stranger
Leonhard Frank's short story "Karl and Anna" inspired this unusual love story about three people during the First World War.

Karl and Richard, who have forged an intense friendship in the dreadful isolation of a prisoner of war camp, tell each other everything about themselves. Richard's wistful memories of Anna, his wife, awaken in Karl a growing desire for this woman he doesn’t know, but who has become so familiar to him.

Karl escapes from the camp. When he comes face to face with Anna, he pretends to be her presumably dead husband. Anna is rattled almost to the point of insanity by his intimate knowledge of her life; but in her desire for love and happiness she suppresses her knowledge that Karl is not Richard. In the end, she starts to love Karl in a way that she has never loved Richard.

She is expecting a child. However, a letter arrives announcing Richard's return home. A meeting and a decision are unavoidable. The two men, broken by war, face each other and fight for Anna's love.

Translated from: Dokumentation der 35. Internationalen Filmfestspiele Berlin 1985
by Rainer Simon
with Kathrin Waligura, Joachim Lätsch, Peter Zimmermann
Germany (GDR 1949 to 1990) 1984/85 97’ empfohlen ab 12 Jahren