Die Jungfrauenmaschine

Virgin Machine
Young Hamburg journalist Dorothee Müller is fed up with her persistent lover, Heinz. A complete ingénue, she innocently embarks upon an exploration of romantic love – is it merely a ‘woman’s malady’? The places where she undertakes this research include a pleasure-addicted hormone researcher’s practice and the monkey house at the zoo. Unable to find any satisfactory answers, Dorothee decides to leave Europe and head for California where she continues her research by conducting interviews and some personal explorations. In swinging San Francisco she meets three remarkable women: a cheeky Hungarian named Dominique who sneers at the German work ethic and offers to help Dorothee in her research; Susie Sexpert, a specialist in sexual pleasures who has an astonishing collection of dildos, and finally the attractive Ramona, who performs a hot strip as a drag king in a lesbian bar. By the end of her journey Dorothee has rediscovered her own sexuality and put several illusions firmly behind her.
by Monika Treut
with Ina Blum, Marecelo Uriona, Gad Klein, Mona Mur, Peter Kern, Hans-C. Blumenberg, Erica Marcus, Carla Wood Saivre, Fakir Musafar, Shelly Mars, Dominique Gaspar, Flora Gaspar, Susie Bright, Fanny Fatal, Pearl Harbour
Germany 1988 German 84’ Black/White


  • Ina Blum (Dorothee Müller)
  • Marecelo Uriona (Bruno)
  • Gad Klein (Heinz)
  • Mona Mur (Singer)
  • Peter Kern (Endocrinologist)
  • Hans-C. Blumenberg (Caller)
  • Erica Marcus (Landlady)
  • Carla Wood Saivre (Woman in the Hotel Room)
  • Fakir Musafar (Man in the Hotel Room)
  • Shelly Mars (Ramona)
  • Dominique Gaspar (Dominique)
  • Flora Gaspar (Flora)
  • Susie Bright (Susie Sexpert)
  • Fanny Fatal (Stripper)
  • Pearl Harbour (Visitor)


Director Monika Treut
Cinematography Elfi Mikesch
Editing Renate Merck
Sound Alf Olbrisch
Sound Mixing Richard Borowski
Assistant Director Thomas Tielsch, Greta Schiller
Production Management Anita Horz
Producer Monika Treut
Commissioning Editor Eberhard Scharfenberg
Co-Production NDR Hamburg

Additional information

Förderverein TEDDY e.V. (TEDDY Sponsorship Society) is honouring filmmaker Monika Treut with the Special TEDDY Award 2017 for her lifetime achievement.
In honour of this occasion, Panorama are screening her film DIE JUNGFRAUENMASCHINE.
Funded by Filmbüro Hamburg and Filmbüro NRW.

Monika Treut

Born in Mönchengladbach, Germany in 1954, she completed a PhD in literature at Marburg in 1984. She began working with video in 1976 and founded Hyena Films with Elfi Mikesch in 1984. Her feature and documentary films have shaped Queer Cinema for over 35 years. The love story Seduction: The Cruel Woman, the sex melodrama Virgin Machine and the comedy My Father is Coming were followed by a series of documentaries including the multi-award-winning trans-futuristic Gendernauts. Her films have featured at the Berlinale 13 times already; in 2017, she received the Teddy Award for her lifetime achievement. She also teaches at universities in California and New York and, since 2018, has been Deputy Professor of Media at the University of Hildesheim.

Filmography (selection)

1985 Verführung: Die grausame Frau (Seduction: The Cruel Woman); co-director: Elfi Mikesch 1988 Die Jungfrauenmaschine (Virgin Machine) 1989 Annie; short documentary 1991 My Father is Coming 1992 Max; short documentary · Female Misbehavior; documentary · Dr. Paglia; short documentary 1998 Didn’t Do It for Love; documentary 1999 Gendernauts; documentary 2001 Kriegerin des Lichts (Warrior of Light); documentary 2005 Den Tigerfrauen wachsen Flügel (Tigerwomen Grow Wings); documentary 2009 Ghosted 2012 Das Rohe und das Gekochte (The Raw and the Cooked); documentary 2014 Von Mädchen und Pferden (Of Girls and Horses) 2016 Zona Norte; documentary 2021 Genderation; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021