Neun Leben hat die Katze

The Cat Has Nine Lives
In the summer of 1967, journalist Katharina is visited in Munich by her French friend, Anne. They take day trips and visit cafés, acquaintances, and parties. In a series of conversations, they talk about the chances for female emancipation in a male-dominated society … This essayistic film puts five different types of women at the centre of the episodic narrative – an unmarried professional woman, a divorcee confused about her future, a career woman, a deceived wife, and a “dream woman”. Director Ula Stöckl said in 1968, “women have never had so many chances to organise their lives the way they want. But first they have to learn that they can want something”. With a nod to French cinéma vérité and a decidedly subjective point of view, the director uses impressionist techniques to explore female ambition and desire. Like a sumptuous waking dream in Cinemascope and Technicolor that is as wise as it is enchanting, The Cat Has Nine Lives garnered pride of place as West Germany’s “first feminist film” (Christa Maerker).
by Ula Stöckl
with Liane Hielscher, Marie Philippine, Jürgen Arndt, Antje Ellermann, Alexander Kaempfe, Elke Kummer, Hartmut Kirste, Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg, Heidi Stroh
Federal Republic of Germany 1968 German, French 91’ Colour Rating R18


  • Liane Hielscher
  • Marie Philippine
  • Jürgen Arndt
  • Antje Ellermann
  • Alexander Kaempfe
  • Elke Kummer
  • Hartmut Kirste
  • Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg
  • Heidi Stroh


Written and Directed by Ula Stöckl
Cinematography Dietrich Lohmann
Editing Wolfgang Schacht
Music Bob Degen, Manfred Eicher, Fred Braceful

Additional information

DCP: Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin

Ula Stöckl

Born in Ulm, Germany in 1938, she studied languages in London and Paris. Afterwards she studied at the Institut für Filmgestaltung in Ulm. She has also directed television films and theatre. Ula Stöckl is an associate professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Filmography (selection)

1968 Neun Leben hat die Katze; 86 min., Retrospective 1977, Classics 2015 1972 Das goldene Ding; 90 min., Forum 1972, co-directed by Alf Brustellin, Nikos Perakis, Edgar Reitz 1974 Ein ganz perfektes Ehepaar; 90 min., Berlinale 1977 1976 Erikas Leidenschaften; 64 min., Forum 1977 1984 Der Schlaf der Vernunft; 82 min., Forum 1984 · Jakobs Tauben; Forum 1984, 45 min. 1991 Das alte Lied; 82 min., Forum 1992 2015 Die Widerständigen „also machen wir das weiter ...“; 87 Min., Panorama 2015, co-directed by Katrin Seybold

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019