Sisi & Ich

Sisi & I
Irma Countess von Sztáray does not have it easy. Shortly before her application to become lady-in-waiting to Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary known as “Sisi”, Irma gets a bloody nose from her strict mother in all the excitement. Then, at court, she is put on display like a prize cow and interrogated. At Sisi’s summer residence on Corfu, Irma first has to prove her athleticism in sadistic exercises and is then put on a diet of cocaine extracts before she finally meets the moody and erratic empress in person. In between laxative teas and watery soups, hikes and beauty treatments, the two very different women quickly become close – though only as close as Sisi will allow, naturally. But every summer has an end, and when they return to Vienna, the lives of Sisi and Irma change drastically.
In her wild reinterpretation of the oft-told “Sisi” myth, Frauke Finsterwalder unleashes two acting forces of nature – Susanne Wolff and Sandra Hüller – on each other and allows them to upstage each other. With stunning costumes by Tanja Hausner and set to a soundtrack by Nico, Portishead and Le Tigre, the film transports us to a world dominated by women to which, apart from the queer maids, only the gay Archduke Viktor has access.
by Frauke Finsterwalder
with Sandra Hüller, Susanne Wolff, Georg Friedrich, Stefan Kurt, Sophie Hutter, Maresi Riegner, Johanna Wokalek, Sibylle Canonica, Angela Winkler, Markus Schleinzer
Germany / Switzerland / Austria 2023 German, English, French 132’ Colour World premiere Rating R12


  • Sandra Hüller (Irma Gräfin von Sztáray)
  • Susanne Wolff (Elisabeth von Österreich-Ungarn)
  • Georg Friedrich (Erzherzog Viktor von Österreich)
  • Stefan Kurt (Graf von Berzeviczy)
  • Sophie Hutter (Fritzi)
  • Maresi Riegner (Marie)
  • Johanna Wokalek (Gräfin Festetics)
  • Sibylle Canonica (Maria Gräfin von Sztáray)
  • Angela Winkler (Prinzessin Ludovika von Bayern)
  • Markus Schleinzer (Kaiser Franz Joseph)


Director Frauke Finsterwalder
Screenplay Frauke Finsterwalder, Christian Kracht
Cinematography Thomas W. Kiennast
Editing Andreas Menn
Sound Design Paul Rischer
Sound Marco Teufen
Sound Mixing Gregor Bonse
Costumes Tanja Hausner
Make-Up Christina Baier, Marc Hollenstein
Casting Simone Bär, Alexandra Montag
Producers Philipp Worm, Tobias Walker
Co-Producers Anne Walser, Danny Krausz
Commissioning Editors Cornelia Ackers, Carlos Gerstenhauer, Brigitte Dithard, Barbara Häbe, Thomas Lüthi, Baptiste Planche, Urs Fitze
Co-Production Dor Film Wien
C-Films Zürich
Bayerischer Rundfunk München
Südwestrundfunk Mainz
Arte Straßburg
SRF Zürich

Frauke Finsterwalder

Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1975. She studied literature and history in Berlin and then worked in various theatres, including the Volksbühne in Berlin, before taking up a degree in directing at HFF Munich. Her debut feature film Finsterworld won a number of international awards.


2005 0.003 km; short film 2007 Weil der Mensch ein Mensch ist; documentary 2010 Die große Pyramide; documentary 2013 Finsterworld 2023 Sisi & Ich (Sisi & I)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023