Hannah lives with her husband, architect Martin, in West Berlin. Her mother, Malou, who died more than 10 years ago, was a Frenchwoman who converted to Judaism to marry her German husband. After 1933, the couple were forced to emigrate, so Hannah was born in Buenos Aires. Back in Germany, where she teaches immigrants, she is considered a “foreigner” and she feels alien and misunderstood. Tracing Malou’s life, Hannah searches for her own identity as she struggles with her relationship with Martin … In her first feature, director Jeanine Meerapfel, who was born in Buenos Aires to German Jewish parents, deals with her own history, elegantly weaving together the present and the past. In muted sepia tones, she depicts the path of the eccentric nightclub singer Malou into an unhappy marriage and a descent into alcohol. She draws a clear-eyed contrast between that melodrama and Hannah’s determination to throw off the mantle of feminine immaturity. While her mother cuddles languorously against her husband’s broad chest in a luxury convertible, the daughter takes to the wheel of her own Peugeot convertible to follow a self-determined path.
by Jeanine Meerapfel
with Ingrid Caven, Helmut Griem, Grischa Huber, Ivan Desny, Peter Chatel, Marie Colbin, Margarita Calahorra, Lo van Hensbergen, Dietrich Mattausch, Antonio Skármeta
Federal Republic of Germany 1981 German 94’ Colour Rating R12


  • Ingrid Caven
  • Helmut Griem
  • Grischa Huber
  • Ivan Desny
  • Peter Chatel
  • Marie Colbin
  • Margarita Calahorra
  • Lo van Hensbergen
  • Dietrich Mattausch
  • Antonio Skármeta


Director Jeanine Meerapfel
Screenplay Jeanine Meerapfel, Grischa Huber, Michael Juncker
Cinematography Michael Ballhaus
Editing Dagmar Hirtz
Music Peer Raben
Sound Gunther Kortwich
Art Director Rainer Schaper
Costumes Anna Spaghetti
Co-Producer Regina Ziegler

Additional information

DCP: Ziegler Film, Berlin

Jeanine Meerapfel


Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019