Hans and Lene marry in the summer of 1939. When their daughter Anna is born, Hans is already serving in occupied France and Germany is under bombardment by the Allies. Lene endures many hardships getting the child through the war on her own. But in peacetime, when her husband returns to Germany, family life cripples her, and not just in the metaphorical sense … The film made its debut in the 1980 Berlin Film Festival competition, where it received reviews that were, in some cases, very negative from German critics. In response, it was shortened for theatrical release. In the course of decades, the butchered version achieved great success in many countries with critics and audiences alike and became a classic of ‘world cinema.’ For the restored version, some 30 minutes of additional material from the original version has been edited back in. Germany, Pale Mother will be presented by the director Helma Sanders-Brahms and by Sandy Lieberson in the original version, re-edited in a cooperative venture between the German Federal Archives and the Deutsche Kinemathek. – World premiere of the re-edited and digitally restored original version.
by Helma Sanders-Brahms
with Eva Mattes, Ernst Jacobi, Elisabeth Stepanek
Germany (Federal Republic from 1949) 1980