Ingeborg Bachmann – Reise in die Wüste

Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey into the Desert
She is Austrian, he Swiss; she is a poet, he a playwright; she is a daredevil yet vulnerable, he is adventurous but a little conservative. When Ingeborg Bachmann and Max Frisch meet for the first time in Paris in the summer of 1958, they are already international celebrities of the literary world. In the four years that follow, they dabble in great love and an open relationship between his hometown of Zurich and her adopted Rome. Frisch envies her fame; Bachmann finds his typewriter clatter and his jealousy annoying. She is emancipated, experiments with a liberated existence, is mobile and productive; in Berlin, she writes the famous speech: “The Truth is Bearable for Humankind”. She only realises afterwards that she is suffering, and by how much – with Adolf Opel in the desert, and with Hans Werner Henze in Italy. Margarethe von Trotta interweaves the times before and after the catastrophe. Her direction is frank, sober and elegant. Ronald Zehrfeld as the corpulent, pipe-smoking Frisch and Vicky Krieps (in the role of another cult figure after Empress Sisi) are the perfect match. This film is not about Bachmann’s fatal end, but about her hopes for love and respect, in literature, and in life.
by Margarethe von Trotta
with Vicky Krieps, Ronald Zehrfeld, Tobias Resch, Basil Eidenbenz, Luna Wedler
Switzerland / Austria / Germany / Luxembourg 2023 German,  Italian,  French,  Subtitles: English,  German 110’ Colour World premiere


  • Vicky Krieps (Ingeborg Bachmann)
  • Ronald Zehrfeld (Max Frisch)
  • Tobias Resch (Adolf Opel)
  • Basil Eidenbenz (Hans Werner Henze)
  • Luna Wedler (Marlene)
  • Marc Limpach (Tankred Dorst)
  • Roberto Carpentieri (Giuseppe Ungaretti)
  • Katharina Schmalenberg (Isolde Kurz)


DirectorMargarethe von Trotta
ScreenplayMargarethe von Trotta
CinematographyMartin Gschlacht
EditingHansjörg Weißbrich
MusicAndré Mergenthaler
Sound DesignGina Keller, Jacques Kieffer
SoundPatrick Storck
Production DesignSu Erdt
CostumesUli Simon
Make-UpMarc Hollenstein, Miriam Blank
CastingSimone Bär, Lisa Oláh
Assistant DirectorFlorian Engelhardt
Line ProducersChristos Dervenis, Julian Berner, Sascha Verhey, André Fetzer
ProducersKatrin Renz, Bady Minck, Bettina Brokemper, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu

Produced by


Zürich, Switzerland

+41 442867980

Amour Fou Vienna

Wien, Austria

+43 199499110


Köln, Germany

+49 2219777990

Amour Fou Luxembourg

Ettelbruck, Luxembourg

+35 28116811

Margarethe von Trotta

Born in Berlin, Germany in 1942, she began her career in the late 1960s as an actor in films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlöndorff. She was soon writing screenplays herself and moved into directing. In 1975, she wrote and directed Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum in collaboration with Volker Schlöndorff. In 1977, she made her solo directing debut with Das zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages. As one of the leading lights of German auteur cinema, her work has been presented six times at the Berlinale. In 2022, she received the European Cinema Lifetime Achievement Award.

Filmography (selection, as director)

1975 Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum; co-director: Volker Schlöndorff 1978 Das zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages 1979 Schwestern oder Die Balance des Glücks 1981 Die bleierne Zeit 1983 Heller Wahn 1985 Rosa Luxemburg 1987 Felix 1988 Paura e amore (Fürchten und Lieben) 1990 L’africana (Die Rückkehr) 1993 Il lungo silenzio (Zeit des Zorns) 1994 Das Versprechen 1997 Winterkind; TV film · Lulu 1998 Dunkle Tage; TV film · Mit fünzig küssen Männer anders; TV film 1999 Jahrestage; TV miniseries 2003 Rosenstraße · Die andere Frau; TV film 2005 Ich bin die Andere 2006 Tatort; TV series, 1 episode 2007 Vision – Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen 2009 Die Schwester; TV film 2010 Mai per amore; TV series, 1 episode 2013 Hannah Arendt 2014 Die abhandene Welt 2017 Forget About Nick 2018 Auf der Suche nach Ingmar Bergman 2023 Ingeborg Bachmann – Reise in die Wüste (Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey into the Desert)


Sun Feb 19 19:00

Berlinale Palast

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Mon Feb 20 12:30

Zoo Palast 1

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Mon Feb 20 16:00

Verti Music Hall

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Sun Feb 26 17:30

Haus der Berliner Festspiele

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